Mootch and Me / by Amanda Jones

Even if you are not located on the absolute beachfront, doesn’t mean you don’t have to leave behind the beach lifestyle. That’s what’s giving the spark to Mootch and Me, an all day café located on Bay Street in Brighton Le Sands.

With a selection of bircher muesli, breakfast bowls and smashed avo, some of the selections at this pavement café would not be out of place in Bondi. Taking the offering beyond the Instagram cliché, however, are the range of fresh deli sandwiches and boards of fine smallgoods and preserves.

In putting this all together, co-owner Peter Mougios, who runs the business along with his father, Bill Mougios, was inspired by a meeting of two dining cultures.

“It's based on American delis and the Italian panini bar, all in one.”

What ties these two disparate food styles is the focus on fresh ingredients and simple offerings that showcase the best of that, something that Mootch and Me has taken to heart.

Throughout the morning locals sit at the tables arranged around the Jacaranda tree. Inside the design is no less colourful. Put together by the team from End of Work, the bright tiles and yellow finishes give Brighton the modern café that it has been needing.

These contemporary touches are drawn from Peter’s commitment to learning from the source.

“I travel at least once every couple of years to Italy and I look at how they operate, so that's somewhere I got inspiration from.”

The name itself also comes from Peter’s own history.

“I've got heaps of nicknames over the years, but about fifteen years ago another mate came into the mix and he heard one of my nicknames which was Moug, but he thought he heard Mootch, so he started called me Mootch for years.”

As is the way with these things, the name stuck, and when it came time to open the café that encapsulated the approach of Peter and his friends to enjoying the lighter side of life, there was no other option.

“When it was time to think of the name it was what sounds good and I was thinking Mootch and this, and Mootch and friends, and Mootch and whatever and then Mootch and Me just stuck.”

And for the past three years Brighton has been stuck on Mootch as well, as Peter notes, “people enjoy the fact they can just quickly come in for coffee or even a sandwich or a light breakfast. We think they've taken a liking to it.”

Mootch and Me

313 Bay St, Brighton-Le-Sands
Mon – Fri, 6am – 6pm