Tyranny of Distance

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An Extraordinary Name for an Extraordinary Food & Drink Fuelling Destination just off Chapel Street in the trendy Dining Hub of Windsor!

Discerning Windsor locals now have a chic but friendly fuelling destination at their doorsteps, and while those north of the river might consider it a tyranny to travel the distance, it’s worth going the extra mile for this café/bar!

Tyranny of Distance owners, Carlo Colosimo and George Loukas, with many successful venues to their credit previously (Lounge, Big Mouth, 2 Fingers, Tusk, Blue Elephant & Virgin Mary), brought all their experience to bear when creating Tyranny four years ago. They decided upon the unique name for this the cafe when they noticed that the term ‘tyranny of distance’ was originally coined by Matthew Flinders, who navigated the Bass Strait in 1798, in a Geoffrey Blainey Australian History book. Flinders complained that Australia was so far away from England and so out of touch with the rest of the world – and yet so beautiful, that to get to Australia was a ‘tyranny of distance’.

So owner Carlo Colosimo wanted the name of the café/bar to be a poetic statement that complimented the artists’ work; “It was intended to be a social comment on the need for things to be convenient. A cafe is about providing a service and convenience, so it’s intended to be a little cheeky and fun”.

Melbourne really knows how to make old seem new again; there are bars on rooftops, cafes in car parks and galleries on alley walls, now the city’s love affair with recycled cityscapes has stretched to the site of an old servo – Tyranny of Distance has parked itself in an old service station in Windsor. The look is industrial chic with an artistic streak: where once there were petrol pumps now there are bar stools and café tables where patrons fill up on espresso and stiff drinks. The kitchen is housed in the old ‘lubritorium’ where beat-up cars have given way to homemade flatbreads. The oil and grease is gone and in its place is a café/bar that is set to become a Southside destination.

Carlo and George commissioned several Melbourne artists to handle Tyranny’s design. Led by Melbourne jeweller and goldsmith, Marcos Davidson, the approach focuses on a unique recycling philosophy that lends Tyranny a real Bauhaus flavour. The result is an accidental gallery of recycled parts and artisan labour. Lampshades were made from vulcanised fibre stitched together like old boots. Gas bottles have been fashioned into outdoor lamps, old bank notes became tables, graffiti hides old sins on a feature wall and a window covering has been designed in the image of a vintage meat safe.

The kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the menu has been designed using fresh, locally sourced produce with a focus on whole foods. From the signature flatbreads, to the desserts, to their popular Quinona breakfast dish, everything is made or assembled by hand, providing a modern, rustic, Melbourne café experience. The bar serves a selection of local craft beers, Australian wines and healthful cocktails – and house blend espresso runs through the coffee machine all day long.

Menus were improved by Chef Sean Manning with a focus on wholesome food prepared by hand: “Our philosophy is that we do everything from scratch. We never buy pre-made or processed food and don’t use a deep fryer. The emphasis is whole food handmade, slow-cooked and prepared to order, all our flatbreads are made every day and cooked to order. That’s usually something you find in fine dining,” says Manning.


Tyranny of Distance

147 Union Street, Windso

Monday 8am-8pm, Tuesday to Friday 8am to 1am, Saturday & Sunday 9am to 1am

Phone: (03) 9525 1005


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