Finding great places to eat and drink in unfamiliar towns is hard enough, and having a four-legged companion with you just adds to the difficulty. We were in Geelong around lunchtime with our dog (known as ‘the cute one’) in tow, and were keen to explore the dining options.
Online research identified a few intriguing possibilities, but option 1 proved to be not quite as dog-friendly as web searches had suggested. Option 2 was the Kilgour Street Grocer and Café, a compact corner store only a few blocks away from Kardinia Park. The neat interior is welcoming, a striking sky-blue espresso machine prominent on the counter. Rustic timber furniture accommodates a dozen or so diners and displays a range of boutique and everyday groceries and decorator items on pastel painted shelves – with an emphasis on local and regional artisan suppliers. The serving area is tiny and easily filled with customers queuing, but service is efficient and friendly so waiting times are short. When we visited most customers were after take-away so the interior dining area was not full. But we, of course, were interested in the dog-friendly area. This is a narrow alley-like space between the shop wall and the paling fence, furnished with colourful plastic stools and brightly painted tables formed from old cable drums. Small pots of succulents add a further welcoming touch.