Double or Nothing

The people behind Ōtautahi favourite Lux work with Johnstone Callaghan Architects to create more good vibes.

Double or Nothing

The people behind Ōtautahi favourite Lux work with Johnstone Callaghan Architects to create more good vibes.

We expect a lot from our cafes. Coffee must have body and pep, our milk must come in flora and fauna varietals, and our food must traverse the spectrum from tea-room scone to raw-food slice. And we want a space that’s equal parts comfortable and cool. 

Doubles delivers on all fronts – the new Ōtautahi Christchurch offering from the couple behind popular Lux Espresso has opened at the base of a central city office building. Working with Prue Johnstone and Mike Callaghan, they’ve transformed a dark, dated space into a bright, contemporary eatery. 

Entering the cafe through a covered courtyard, Doubles is crisp but inviting. Green is the hero colour here and introduced in a medley of tones on the splashback, counter and terrazzo-topped steel tables, with the rest of the space a fresh shade of white. A row of large pendant lights soften the interior, while the architects have subtly toyed with the theme of ‘doubles’ by grouping smaller ceiling lights in pairs.  

The cafe occupies only a modest corner of the building’s ground floor, but big windows and concertina doors prevent the space from feeling confined. The concrete floor was a happy discovery under layers of tarnished carpet and tiles. “We wanted to create a calming backdrop, which allows the focus to be on great service, food and coffee,” says architect Prue Johnstone.

Doubles sits on Worcester Boulevard, a tourist corridor that links some of the city’s top attractions. The location makes it a practical pit stop for hungry city visitors, but this is no tourist trap, and locals have gravitated to Doubles and its 8am weekend opening. 

When I took my kids (early) one Sunday, the tables were already scattered with rowdy kids burning off hot-chocolate highs. Just as my three-year-old son joined the ruckus by belting out a verse of ‘Let it Go’, two elderly women arrived. Taking in the lively surroundings, one turned to the other and, without an ounce of irony, summed the place up: “You know, it’s got a good vibe.” 

Doubles cafe

62 Worcester Boulevard

Ōtautahi

doubles.co.nz

Print EditionBuy Now

Related Stories:

0