Despite its meagre footprint, new South Brisbane hole-in-the-wall café Dugout has hit a home run. A clever layout makes the most of the tiny Ernest Street location.

Though a cloud of smoke from students sipping takeaway coffees out front may disguise the ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ shopfront, push through the haze and you’ll be rewarded with a cool little café that places a big emphasis on design.

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To make the most of its petite outdoor seating area the owners employed local artists Frank & Mimi to jazz up the brick wall backdrop. The Frank & Mimi stamp in the Brisbane hospitality passport is a ticket to most cool lists. The beautifully-painted all-American baseball themed wall gives the little café personality to boot.

The food cabinet is built according to scale, as in small. Carrying a selection of ready to go ham and mustard baguettes, jars of salad and jars of chia seed puddings, there’s something quick and hip to nosh on while throwing back a coffee.

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Dugout is owned by the Rouge Coffee Boutique Roaster in South Brisbane’s Glenelg Street. Famous as a place for a pick-me-up, the coffee is fabulous, strong and loved by locals. Dugout expresses its sense of humour in the sizing of their takeaway coffee sizes. Order the Ruth (as in Babe, the little) or the Randy (as in Johnson, the big). Bottles of cold press coffee are also available, so check the outdoor temperature and order accordingly.

Words and images by Alice Thompson