Offering coffee by day and cocktails, wine and craft beer by night, John Mills Himself (JMH) is genuinely a hidden gem. Owned and operated by Marcus Allison, the ‘OG’ of the Brisbane coffee scene, JMH offers entry via a secret door and staircase from the back of Archives Fine Books on Charlotte Street. What’s better than a mysterious entrance known only to those with a nose for fine coffee, Australian spirits and craft beer? It’s also a glorious nod to the building’s ties with the written word.
You can, of course, also enter from Elizabeth Street. Just follow the cobblestones down the driveway and when you see a horde of caffeine-deprived office workers, you know you have arrived. Marcus has a simple acronym for his troops to follow – DWYW (Do What You Want). The DWYW mentality shines through in all his venues (which include Bunker and Bessa in Milton) and JMH is no exception.
Rocking the coffee bar, Matt Burt is pretty much always smiling as he surveys his kingdom, hustling to make sure everyone is well looked after. JMH was a true pioneer on the coffee scene, offering multi-roaster coffees well ahead of its time. Amazing cold and batch brews complement the hot drinks menu.
Sustainability is a buzz word now, but JHM has always been ahead of the game.
Today more than 40% of their customers use the Bunker Keep Cups. Behind the bar, a La Marzocco Linea PB jostles for space with a Robur Kold, 2 Mythos One and a Ditting for filter and retail. It’s a cool set up, reflecting how seriously they take their coffee at JMH. Heirloom chocolate and local milk (or macadamia milk, anyone?) complement the drinks’ offerings, while you won’t want to miss donut Friday!
The afternoon changeover sees five-ounce ‘pony’ glasses hit the full-length marble bar.
JMH was the first venue in the country to championing ‘Drink Miles’, meaning they only serve beer and wine from cellar doors within a 250 kilometres radius of Brisbane’s CBD, plus Australian craft spirits from a little further afield. Why not pop in and see Matty? Tell him Shaun sent you. And remember to try out the secret entrance. JMH offers the best of specialty coffee and craft beer set amidst heritage-listed cool. What’s not to love?
John Mills Himself
40 Charlotte Street,
Brisbane QLD 4000
Coffee: Monday – Friday: 6:30am-3:30pm
Bar: Tuesday – Saturday: 4pm-10pm
Photos: supplied by John Mills Himself.