Don’t be surprised if the coffee here rings a bell. The School of 7 Bells owner, Daniel Zalcberg, has been the man behind the Artful Dodger of Elsternwick and the more recently acquired Whyte’s of Glen Huntly. The School of 7 Bells stars its own unique house blends as well as a rotation of carefully selected single origins. Named after a mythical Colombian school that teaches children how to pickpocket, The School of 7 Bells looks to continue along the Artful Dodger tradition of independence and cheekily straying from the rest of Melbourne’s cafe scene.

The small cafe is surprisingly spacious inside, owing to an interesting arrangement of seating that lines the wall of an alcove, leaving a comfortable half-moon of space facing the espresso counter. The décor is a carnival-esque pastiche of decorated panelling and stray knick-knacks. Shelves are lined with games, tattered children’s books and small pyramids of faded canned tomatoes sit on the open, breezy espresso window. In an attempt to categorise its eclectic design aesthetic, The School of 7 Bells has an old library meets butcher shop feel, but the most important thing is to make people feel at home.

Breakfast and lunch is a medley of the usual suspects, as well as the not-so-usual: red velvet pancakes, a breakfast caprice salad and chimichurri roast beef sandwich with celeriac and carrot remoulade being a few to command attention.

Empty and abandoned, this lonely Chapel Street space has been a lost soul for too long. We’re happy to know that this little orphan has found a good home at last.