Laois Aussie Rules star Zach Tuohy invests in his home town Portlaoise creating new jobs

Something’s brewing on Bull Lane - a taste of metropolitan Melbourne for Downtown Portlaoise

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Something is brewing on Bull Lane in Portlaoise and it’s not just the smashing new pavements and cobblestones.

It’s got a buzz about it. A coffee buzz, with the warm welcoming ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ vibe.

It’s the talk of the Town and it’s all in anticipation of the latest addition to the social and business hub in the heart of the town, The Wandering Elk café. 

The Wandering Elk? More of that later but for now form an orderly queue, for if the level of anticipation on Instagram is anything to go by, Portlaoise is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to sample its latest coffee offering.

The venture is the brainchild of two Portlaoise GAA mates, Zach Tuohy and Murry Rogers who have been fermenting the idea of a specialty coffee house in their home town ever since they fell in love with the idea in Melbourne, which boldly boasts that it roasts and serves the best coffee in the world, no less.

“Yeah this idea has been brewing for a while and is inspired by Melbourne’s famous coffee shops and coffee culture in its backstreets and historic laneways, so with Murry back home now we finally have a chance to do it,” explains Zach Tuohy as he prepares for another big Australian Football League clash in Sydney with his top-ranked club, Geelong.

“We’re going all out here to serve up something special and unique to our area. Everything is different from anything else that’s on offer with a big emphasis on quality. Hopefully, people will enjoy it and be impressed, I think from the response we’re getting in the build-up to opening next Friday, I think they will,” says Zach, who is paying particular attention to every tiny detail of their preparations at Bull Lane, right next to Browne’s Fruit & Veg.

“Specialty coffee is a phrase that is bandied about a lot these days but we are going to every rounds to serve up the real deal. We also have given a lot of consideration to vegan-friendly options both in terms of the food and the coffee. We also want to embrace our environmental responsibilities so The Wandering Elk is highly conscious of best practice in that space in terms of recycling and compostable cups and packaging,” underlines Zach.

Zach makes the point too about who they have partnered with and the brands they have chosen to bring this exciting new alternative to discerning Laois coffee lovers.

“Our coffee comes directly from McCabes Coffee in Wicklow, Ireland’s first carbon neutral coffee roaster and they also have a committed fair trade ethos in sourcing their beans from farmers. Down2Earth are market leaders in eco-friendly packaging, The Rolling Donut established in 1978 needs no introduction and The Wandering Elk is going to be a destination for discerning donut fans,” smiles Murry, adding that they can also provide regulars with keep cups from Neon Kactus.

So there is certainly something brewing on Bull Lane what with specialty coffees, same day freshly made Rolling Donuts exclusive to The Wandering Elk, and gourmet grilled sourdough melts made to order and American style cookies worth the trip alone. 

And you can place your orders, appropriately enough on the Q-Kangaroo App!!

“It’s all high quality, no skimping on ingredients, service, or standards. It’s great food with a Melbourne vibe right in the middle of Portlaoise town,” insists Zach, who doesn’t do things in half measure, on or off the pitch.

And what’s all this Wandering Elk mean? 

“Well, you’re just going to have to call down to Bull Lane next weekend and see for yourself,” he mischievously replies.

The Wandering Elk is opening on Friday next, May 7th. 

The opening hours will be 8am to 4pm Thursday to Saturday and 9am to 2.30pm on Sundays. 

You can keep up to date with all that’s happening at The Wandering Elk on Facebook and Instagram.

G’day! Now, where’s my coffee and donut?