Check out this café with a huge heart!

By Em Worthington

Café Outside The Square

:: 34 Whitmore Square, Adelaide

:: 7.30am – 3.30pm every day


Image Credit :: Cafe Outside the Square

Every now and then, you come across people or places that fill your heart. Café Outside The Square has both covered in one fell swoop.

Located in a gorgeous building (formerly the iconic Iliad restaurant) on Whitmore Square, it’s a joy to check out. Grand high ceilings, white textured walls and Mediterranean archways make it a sweet place for coffee or a bite to eat. But what truly sets it apart, is why it’s there. Opened in November last year by Tim Seymour-Smith and Mike Chalmers, this registered charity exists to feed back into the community.

As a not-for-profit business, every dollar that’s spent at Café Outside The Square is re-invested in helping groups in need — particularly the homeless, refugees and prisoners. For Tim and Mike, the aim is to help people who haven’t had the same opportunities in life, or may have taken a different path. The café is a perfect place to give them some training, connect with employment opportunities, provide a meal, or simply serve as a place to reconnect with the community.

Paying it forward

Run by dedicated staff and assisted by volunteers, every dollar goes back into the cause. With good coffee and delicious ‘homey’ food on the menu, it’s easy to enjoy and know you’re doing something bigger for others. Brekky and lunch during the week include bright, local dishes, or pop in on the weekend for a delicious cooked spread. You can also buy a ‘suspended dinner’, so that a disadvantaged person who comes in can enjoy it free of charge.

Image Credit :: Cafe Outside the Square

Located just a few doors down from St Vincent de Paul’s men’s shelter, the venue has been used at night for years to serve meals to the homeless. Buying the ‘Square Meal of the Day’ from the menu in turn provides nutritious meals for two men that night.

Image Credit :: Cafe Outside the Square

Training for the future

The big-ticket item for the guys is launching their training program. By using the café to train the homeless, or men and women from detention centres, it becomes a stepping stone back into work. As honestly told by Tim, it’s taken looking past some of their own preconceptions to see that many of these people are vibrant, active community members who just need a chance. They’ve had a few trainees through already, but watch this space as Tim and Mike officially amp it up in the coming months.

Embracing the surroundings

The community vibe is strong here and something the guys love most about the location. They’re super supportive of fellow cafés and businesses in the area and know they’re offering something unique.

There’s plenty on offer… admire (or even buy) colourful local art lining the walls, or check out some stunning jewellery on offer from local creators. And every weekend, you can swing past to catch local musicians escalating the vibe and soak up the bubbling atmosphere.


Need to talk shop? There are separate spaces available for meetings and a further boardroom meeting room is in the works.

The wrap

A quick chat with Tim and Mike makes it clear that they’re happy to remain behind the curtain with this amazing venture. The knowledge that they’re doing something bigger than themselves and giving others a step up is what it’s all about. Every aspect of Café Outside The Square speaks this honest sentiment in volumes.

Drop in for a coffee or a bite to eat and see for yourself how much beauty there is in thinking outside the square.

Em xx

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