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Working to Regenerate a Famous Street in Melbourne’s St Kilda

Jaggers Espresso Bar Adds Some Panache to Acland St

Acland St in Melbourne’s seaside suburb of St Kilda has seen many different eras come and go, most recently being the brunt of the COVID-19 global pandemic’s effects on Australia’s international tourism industry.

St Kilda is renowned for housing international backpackers and young revellers of the night, but when Australia closed its borders, locations heavily reliant on tourists also felt many doors closing for the last time – the doors of hospitality.

Cafés, pubs, and bars that once held global passers-by in their grip are now seeing local businesses shuttering their doors for the final time. Some buildings fell into disrepair, and a once-thriving seaside suburb groaned as metaphorical tumbleweed quietly rolled down its tram and pedestrian-only street.


A Ray of Sunlight that Catches the Eye

Enter Jaggers Espresso Bar. Recently opened in February 2022, this family-owned business took over where Leroy Espresso had once stood for decades before the pandemic wreaked its havoc upon the world. But it didn’t simply take over the shop.

A family of British commercial builders who specialised in tier-1 fit-outs for luxury casinos and hotels used their taste and flair to design the new bar, and it now stands out as a beacon of light to the local community.


Contemporary Digs Give Rise to Community Spirit

Italian plaster, wooden furniture, a marble bar, and even an old-fashioned blue British telephone box showed both local inhabitants and the Acland St Trader’s Association there was still some life left in this community. Popular with families in the daylight hours, and serving drinks in the evenings, Jaggers covers all the bases.

Undercover outdoor seating is perfect for warmer or cooler weather, and on Thursday to Sunday nights throughout the spring and summer months, Jaggers offers tapas and cocktails together with live music. Once international tourism gets back into full gear, it’s going to be a blast. That said, the locals are already writing rave reviews, and other businesses inspired by this stylish espresso bar have already begun to follow suit, trickling in to refurbish the old, empty spaces.


Not Just a Bar – Jaggers is for Families

Jaggers is named after Manager Marie’s grandson, and since opening the team has been surprised by how many kids named Jagger have walked through the door. A pile of baseball-style caps with the ‘Jaggers’ logo has slowly decreased in size as enthusiastic patrons with kids named Jagger have requested to take them home.

The team has also been pleasantly surprised by the steady flow of positive feedback, some of which have been testimonials presented by an older segment of the crowd who would rather write messages on the back of serviettes than on the internet!

With international chefs onboard, and the only café on the street offering da Matteo coffee, brekkies, brunches, lunches, and kids’ meals are all covered. Foot traffic is steadily increasing, as are repeat customers due to Jaggers’ first-class service and exceptional food and coffee. This has been a wonderful outcome for a brand-new venture.


Running a Successful Espresso Bar is Hard Work!

Marie says the main lesson learnt at Jaggers this year is just how hard you need to work to build a successful hospitality business. However, she said it’s incredibly rewarding when people tell the team how good its food, drinks, coffee, and service are.

She’s also impressed by the comradery shown by their so-called ‘competitors’ who help each other out in times of need, i.e., if one café’s milk delivery doesn’t arrive on time, another member of the trader’s association will lend a helping hand.

If you’re looking for a classy place for a flat white in a superb location at the corner of Acland St in St Kilda, do come and check out Jaggers. They offer private functions too!