Words: Simon Paterson
Images: Crooked Spire Cafe, Perth
When Chesterfield resident Jonathan Strutt emigrated to Australia over ten years ago, he thought he may never set eyes on the Crooked Spire again! So, imagine his surprise, when strolling through Perth he spotted the 'Crooked Spire Cafe'. Jonathan is Simon's cousin (S41 Local Editor) and messaged him the same day to say 'hey, have I got a story for you'. Simon got in touch with the cafe's owner Mike Matich to find out more... that's Mike and some of his team on the far left.
How did you hear about the Crooked Spire?
When we were getting ready to start building the cafe, in March 2015, a good friend of mine was travelling through Chesterfield and posted this amazing picture of the Crooked Spire. I commented that the name would be perfect for a pub, he replied “or maybe a coffee house”. And that’s how it happened:)
I also loved the idea that due to a series of mistakes there is now a building that is a beautiful piece of art. I love the idea that we are all artists and out of a mess can come something beautiful.
Do you have any artwork of the Crooked Spire on display? If not, I am sure we could send you some?
We have a poster with a picture of the spire with a story of its origin.
Have you ever had anyone in from Chesterfield, before my cousin?
I’ve had a few and they love the story and the reminder of home. We get called the Crooked Squire and the Crooked Spider too, which always gives me a smile.
The café looks pretty cool on the website, what can we expect if we were to pay you a visit?
It really has a community vibe; we want everyone to feel not just welcome but like it is their place too. Where everyone is included. You can also expect brilliant coffee and food. We were lucky enough to receive two awards last year, Customer Service of the Year Award and Small Business Of the Year in the Chamber of Commerce Awards.
Do you know the history of the Crooked Spire?
I believe I do. (ED: For those that don't, the most reliable story is that the black death killed off so many skilled workers that when the spire was constructed, the carpenters were unskilled and used untreated timbers, which twisted and warped as they dried out... it definitely wasn't the result of the spire bending down to take a look when a virgin got married in the church!)
You have some great art on the walls, have you any Chesterfield based artists on display?
No Chesterfield artists but I am open to them. We also have some well used Chesterfield couches as a nod to the home of the original Crooked Spire.
Have you ever been to Chesterfield and visited the Crooked Spire? The real one, in Chesterfield, obviously!
I have never been, but it is on my bucket list now. We have what seems like hundreds of kids at the moment (five, to be precise), with our youngest only three and travel can be be a bit hard. But I’m definitely looking forward to a visit soon.
If you are ever in Perth and fancy calling in for a coffee, the Crooked Spire Coffee & Art House can be found at the address below.
Crooked Spire Coffee & Art House
71 Victoria St
Midland WA 6056
Look out for Paul and I wearing 'Crooked Spire Cafe' T Shirts at some point soon, thanks to the team at Perth.