Having made its name as the best little coffee den come design studio that lived down the industrial lane, Tonic Espresso has expanded into the bar business. In the mornings this stencil art-adorned bolthole serves seriously good coffee (its own blend), tea and hot chocolate and a handful of snacks like muffins an toasties, then at mid afternoon it closes its roller door for siesta and re-opens at sunset in time for cocktail hour.
Then, as darkness falls on narrow hilly Hymes St, those-in-the-know make tracks for the groovy ex-loading dock, pulling up a deck chair in the astroturf or heading inside to one of the communal tables side-lit by tea lights in wine glasses.
The bar list is short and sharp, with a decent range of mostly craft beers and ciders, a small array of red and white wine varietals by the glass or bottle, local sparkling wine or Louis Roederer by the glass or bottle and a quality picking of spirits, with signature cocktail the espresso martini.
Evening nibbles to accompany the drinks come in the form of bar snacks like sweet chilli encrusted cashews, Sicilian olives or organic naked vegetable chips or tasting plates incorporating the above as well as continental pepper salami, chargrilled button mushrooms, pesto dip and ciabatta bread.