If you ever thought the original Nodo in Newstead felt a bit like a cafe by accident, that’s because it was.
When Nodo opened in 2015 its emphasis was simply on serving gluten-free baked doughnuts and coffees to takeaway customers. But when the space next door became available, owner Kate Williams put some tables in and introduced a simple brunch menu, thinking it would be a temporary arrangement until someone else took over the lease. That was two years ago.
Now, it’s official. Nodo Newstead reopened yesterday after a three-week renovation that finally formalised the venue as a brunch destination. Redesigned by Williams’s regular collaborator Tahnee Sullivan, the half wall at the Ella Street entrance has been removed to create a more open-plan layout. A two-storey dining room now fits 40 more seats and features cement pillars and benches, sunken nooks and timber-panelled ceilings.
“With the cafe taking off we just felt our customers weren’t getting the best experience,” Williams says. “Now, we’ve got 40 more seats and we’re offering table service to free up the takeaway space.”
The redesign means a smoother workflow for staff and a better experience for guests. Takeaway customers still use the side counter and those eating in are served from a new island at the dining room entrance. The venue’s glass cabinets have been extended, so either way you can still peek at Nodo’s baked doughnuts and treats.
A new spring menu launched yesterday in conjunction with the reopening and as usual focuses on inventive and elevated meals designed around dietary requirements. Highlights include a house-baked gluten-free baguette with wild blue swimmer crab and scrambled eggs; and an acai blue bowl with wild blue spirulina, spring fruits and granola.