New cafe Hare and the Turtle offers an inventive sandwich menu

It was quiet last Thursday when Metro visited Hare and the Turtle, a new opening by band-members, turned Best Ugly Bagel makers, turned cafe owners Aletheia Elder, Eammon Logan Saban Malcolm and Jamie Kennedy. The sparsely decorated corner shop’s cabinet was piled high with glossy,  cinnamon rolls and cakes, the kitchen poised for sandwich-making and a barista at the ready.

The same cannot be said of the weekend just passed. Saturday saw queues out the door and down the road, while on Sunday the trio had to issue a Facebook apology when they ran out of food. A week in, these are the signs of a new local, well received.

This has always been a popular spot with Avondale and New Windsor residents. The previous tenant, Sweetie cafe, while stuck in a time warp of bowl lattes and paninis, generally pulled a decent crowd – the comfy chairs and chalkboard menu a welcome respite from that citywide trend of hard stools and exposed-filament lightbulbs. Elder and co didn’t know the space was up for grabs until they went in to buy kitchen equipment. They ended up leaving without any gear – “it was all a bit rubbish” – but with a new venue instead.

Hare and the Turtle’s eight-long sandwich menu is deceptively simple sounding, but in fact beef cheeks for the Daisy sarnie are slow-cooked for 20 hours with juniper, onion and butter; cheese is smoked down the road by a secret friend; the mirepoix of vegetables in the Smokey Joe remoulade are precision-cut by hand; and the giant, $5 cinnamon buns are made to a Cinnabon recipe found on Google, refined by Best Ugly Bagel’s head baker. Supreme Boxer Blend coffee completes the offering.

The name – the title of a song by Elder’s old band – is meant to reflect the casual nature of the cafe. “If you’re in for a coffee and a bite, you win. If you’re in for a long lunch, you win,” she says.

1/63 New Windsor Rd
New Windsor