Last month I deviated from my normal morning routine and visited Anne-Maree Jaggs and Judy Gregory at the Letter Lounge, (a typography/literary shop, cafe and venue for hire) on Brisbane's Northside. The ladies stock some wonderful Type Specimen and Art prints including some outstanding handset type pieces by Auckland letterpress artist Tara McLeod.
It was the first time I had meet the talented duo although as we got talking, we quickly realised we had many connections through local artists and the global typography community. Judy did her PhD at Reading and knows some of our Alphabettes network, and visual artist Ann-Maree grew up in the same part of Auckland as me - it is a small world indeed!
Passionate about community as well as type and books the ladies wanted to create a hub for business, learning, conversations, creativity and social activities. They picked a prominent 'Queenslander' (timber and tin) style home on a corner block that had once been used as a beautician and converted the space into a series of retail, workshop and meeting rooms.
'Northside Meetings with The Letter Lounge Café & Gifts' is a place to work, talk, read, meet and eat. "An office away from the office, and a home away from home. You’ll find a space to work and think, a pace that’s relaxed and calm, and an atmosphere of quiet concentration."
The cafe's menu is rife with bookish delights, 'Murder on the Orient Espresso', 'Oliver Yoghurt-Berry Twist' and 'To Kill a Muffinbird' help give you a sense of the playful literary menu - you can eat in the shop front (while perusing word/type themed gifts), in a light-filled sunroom with a book, or with your dog (yep it's pet friendly!) in the garden while admiring the mural of k9's liberated from the pages of our childhood like Eric Hill's Spot and Lynley Dodd's Hairy Maclary.
Behind the cafe, the ladies have created three meeting rooms/venues for hire by the day or hour. The Goudy and Bodoni Rooms are set up for meetings and work furnished with meeting tables and chairs. The Garamond room is a more casual conversation space furnished with
armchairs and coffee tables. Downstairs the largest space (the Helvetica room) is reserved for workshops, masterclasses and presentations.
Anne-Maree and Judy regularly facilitate community events in the Helvetica room and Garden including life drawing and art classes, social change, autism, behaviour zen workshops and this month (to celebrate the Meeting Space and Letter Lounge's first birthday) choral performances!
We are privileged to have such a welcoming space and fun space for us to work, play and create, so next time you're in Red Hill stop by say hi, have a perfectly brewed loose leaf tea and check out the spaces and type treasure in their shop!