Prefab is one of those businesses that keeps locals well-caffeinated and well-fed but most importantly – in touch with friends and family.
Owners Jeff Kennedy and Bridget Dunn have a long running history in the Wellington hospo scene, namely as the original creators behind Cafe L’affare, so it is fair to say that they have refined the art of what it takes to make a great café.
Within seconds of opening the doors at Prefab, you'll be greeted with a smile by the wonderful Bridget or one of her friendly staff. The interior here is light, bright and open, where diners can see the action in full swing. You'll find the coffee roaster to the left, the centrally-located kitchen and the bakery to the right. All of the important parts of a well-oiled machine on full display.
During my visit, I sat up by the coffee machine, mainly so I could talk to my coffee hero Rusiate, who fired me a couple of silky flat whites to charge up the batteries. Provided it was a Friday, I thought it only appropriate to order the fish and chips. Chatham Island Blue Cod served crispy with a generous dollop of house-made tartar sauce on the side.
There is something for everyone on the menu here, from bacon and eggs to a beautifully fresh salad or Reuben sandwich come lunch. The menu comprises of re-imagined old favourites – classic meals done well. When you think about something simple like eggs on toast, it's easy not to get excited, but when your eggs are cooked to perfection and the bread is baked fresh, only feet away from your table, it gives you a much greater appreciation of the meal in front of you.
The team have considered all angles, developing an in-house brand called Acme & Co, that has grown into an ever-evolving product range. In store, you can find Acme coffee, takeaway cups, napkins, breads, sauces, chutneys, jams and preserves, to name but a few. I suggest you try their Acme catsup with fish and chips – a homemade tomato sauce that I definitely give the big thumbs up.
Prefab's diversification is enhanced by their venue offerings – a roomy hall for hire, located out the back of the cafe. This is a community space fitted with a bar and a commercial kitchen, giving them the room and the resources to host pop-up events, market days and gigs, on a semi-regular basis.
A space like this reinforces what we often forget, that it's important to slow down, stop and take a break. Cafes like Prefab help us keep charging on, but also provide a place to connect and enjoy the simple (and tasty) things in life.
14 Jessie St,
Monday – Saturday: 7.00am – 3.30pm