Melbourne coffee shop
Melbourne coffee shop

An independent Lichfield coffee shop has confirmed it will be opening up a second outlet in the city.

The bosses of Melbourne on Bird Street say their new Penni Uni Coffee House will occupy a space at Lichfield District Council House which is being transformed into a new office and incubator hub space for local businesses and entrepreneurs.

A spokesperson said:

“This coffee house will be all about the community and how to interact with people.

“Office spaces, patrons and alike will be welcome – we have even made the council dog-friendly!

“We will be running independently from the council but trying to help everyone come together.”

Melbourne spokesperson

Bosses said the new name would be a nod to the past.

“During the mid-17th Century, coffee was no longer views solely as a medicinal plant and this change in perception created a novel opportunity for the serving of coffee to patrons.

“The first coffeehouses established in Oxford were known as penny universities as they offered an alternative form of learning to structural academic learning, while still being frequented by the English virtuosi who actively pursued advances in human knowledge.

“The coffeehouses would charge a penny admission which would include access to newspapers and conversation. Reporters, called runners, went around to the coffeehouses announcing the latest news. This environment attracted an eclectic group of people.

“In a society that placed such a high importance on class and economic status, the coffeehouses were unique because the patrons were people from all levels of society. Anyone who had a penny could come inside.”

Melbourne spokesperson

Lichfield District Council said it hoped the new office space would create a “vibrant” city centre business hub.

The local authority has launched a survey to help it understand the facilities needed as part for the new versatile space.

Jonathan Percival, economic development officer, said:

“Lichfield District Council is opening up its doors to create a vibrant business office space and incubator hub in the heart of the city centre.

“We are looking to engage with businesses and freelancers from across the district to understand what you would like to see for your city centre business hub.”

Jonathan Percival, Lichfield District Council

Join the Conversation

13 Comments

Our volunteers moderated 1657 comments in the last 30 days. Say thanks with a coffee.

  1. Looking forward to receiving coffee from more grumpy minimum wage teenagers.

    I used to love Melb for the friendly faces and great chat, but lately they’ve become just another soulless outlet for hot drinks. I get they have to make money, but what happened to the friendly old crew?

  2. Amazing! It’s great that the council offices are being used and even better that Melbs coffee will be in there! 😊
    Looking forward to seeing it all completed 😊

  3. This is great news and hopefully more independents will take up spaces there. Good news for all

  4. Hey Harry

    I’ve been banned from replying, but this has actually affected me. First things first, behind every comment like this, affects my mental health. I’m not as strong as I used to be.

    After working 15 hour days, seven days a week trying to save my business during a pandemic whilst copping abuse for absurd laws imposed on the public that I had to enforce, I can’t apologise for being successful.

    Secondly, where have all my staff gone? Three are on maternity. Two conceptions are miracles, and will not apologise for taking time to spend with families. One staff member moved to London where we secured her a job with one of the best cafes. One has been assisted by us to gain employment in a field he always wanted to work, and others have gone to Uni or moved away. It is our business ethos to help and nurture people to gain employment in fields they wish to work whilst making coffee for us.

    Thirdly, my staff are not minimum of wage. They are not living wage either. We have always taken pride in paying above.

    As for grumpy and souless. If you would like to assist in how to get our soul back after literally a pandemic of abuse and the hardest work we have ever done, then please help. I’m willing to meet with you (with a baby trying to have mat leave whilst opening new ventures, roasting coffee, admin and dealing with the public) to see how you think we can better ourselves.

    Please consider behind every nasty comment, there is a person who is struggling. I have literally taken the brunt of the public for the last three years, and I’m quite honestly breaking. So please reach out to me, and offer your assistance to get our soul back.

  5. Nasty? Hardly. I was merely commenting that the joy has gone out of the daily visit to Melbourne.

    But well done you.

  6. Great to see a successful local business expanding – well done!

    Good coffee, great cakes, friendly staff and a nice place to sit and watch the world go by. During the peak work from home/home schooling period a family walk via Melbourne for takeaway drinks and treats was one of the highlights of the week.

    Unfortunately all to easy to sit behind a keyboard and make derogatory comments with no thought as to the impact on those they are directed at.

  7. Chin up Deb – Melbourne was one of the bright sparks for us during the pandemic and kept us going. Our daily walk and coffee was perfect! You cannot please everyone . I have never come across grumpy servers at the coffee shop, in fact quite the opposite. Your staff are attentive and friendly and the coffee and cake is excpetional too. The beauty of free choice is that Harry can simply pop off to another coffee house if he is not happy. At least that will be one less person in the queue. Keep up the good work and keep your chin up :)

  8. With total respect. I do think that maybe personal problems and toils should not be aired in open Forum.
    I am saddened to read the above.
    Harry appears to have his own issues but surely it would have been best to approach and discuss at the time if he was unhappy with staff and services. I wish you well in your new Venture and hope life is less stressful for you. My philosophy is If you can help somebody as you go along then your living will not be in vain.

  9. Debs your efforts are greatly noted. The Melbourne is a cut above the rest of the coffee shops in Lichfield. I can’t say that I need to have an experience when I buy coffee. Harry probably needs some more friends.

  10. Hey John

    Google “Tape Gate” lichfield.

    Then you will understand my wording of absurd (basically the law wanted tape markings for queuing systems in place, but LDC wanted to accuse me of placing trip hazards out the front of my premises) I received many letters from the council, yet every other business in town/country had them. I did eventually receive an apology from the leader, but one can’t help but to feel targeted. I received sometimes a letter a day for apparently infringements on things.

    I can laugh about it now, but I am very by the book. To be accused of breaking rules when I was not, became quite stressful.

Leave a comment
Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy before posting.

Your email address will not be published.