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New Ballarat cafe serves up brunch classics with spiced-up twist

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Ballarat is adding yet another cafe to its ever-expanding repertoire with the opening of Common Ground. True to Ballarat form, the cafe will be housed in a characterful shopfront in the city’s north, with ample parking and a real community vibe.

Not to be confused with Melbourne’s cafe of the same moniker, this central gem will serve up all the breakfast and brunch classics – but with a twist.

‘My partner is from India and I absolutely love the Indian culture, food and flavours,’ Common Ground owner Luke Price said.

We want to design our menu around something that will spice up the ordinary Eggs Benny and Smashed Avo, and we also want to be more inclusive to vegetarian and vegan customers, giving them more options other than the typical one or two dishes.

Hailing from Melbourne, Luke started working in hospitality from a young age – toiling away as a dish-hand before working his way up to management roles in cafes and restaurants. Following his stint in the food industry, he went on to work in interior design for a decade before moving to Ballarat.

‘Ballarat didn’t offer much in the way of the design industry, so that’s where I went back to hospitality and found my spark again,’ he said. ‘I love the atmosphere hospitality brings, the interactions and serving people amazing food and coffee.’

While Luke lost his job due to the COVID pandemic, he said the time off work did in fact open doors – quite literally!

‘I realised I loved interior design but also hospitality, and that’s where the idea for a cafe came from. It was a chance for me to combine the two. Some would say we are crazy for opening in the midst of a pandemic, but it’s worked in our favour.’

Harnessing his skills in design, Luke and his partner have created an ambient space endowed with rustic flair which is welcoming to all.

‘There is nothing worse than wanting to pop down to the local cafe on a Sunday for brunch and feeling like you are sitting in a high-end restaurant in your Sunday slacks! We want everyone to be comfortable.’


WHAT: Common Ground Ballarat
WHERE: 306 Howitt Street, Ballarat North
WHEN: Opening September 10

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