Covid Australia: Dozens brave pouring rain for Lune croissants in Melbourne lockdown

Beleaguered Melburnians have spent an agonising 258 days in lockdown since the pandemic began.

But while you might expect the residents of the world’s most locked-down city to be too deflated to queue for anything other than a Covid vaccine, a sizeable number are still willing to wait in line for something very different: the ‘world’s best croissant’.

Armed with hoods and umbrellas, masked food lovers braved the pouring rain on Saturday to get their hands on pastries from Kate Reid’s iconic Lune Croissanterie in Fitzroy, 10 minutes’ drive from the CBD. 

You might expect the residents of the world’s most locked-down city to be too deflated to queue for anything other than a Covid vaccine, but a sizeable number are still willing to wait in line for something very different: the ‘world’s best croissant’

Armed with hoods and umbrellas, masked food lovers braved the pouring rain on Saturday to get their hands on pastries from Kate Reid's iconic Lune Croissanterie in Fitzroy

Armed with hoods and umbrellas, masked food lovers braved the pouring rain on Saturday to get their hands on pastries from Kate Reid’s iconic Lune Croissanterie in Fitzroy

The renowned bakery serves a decadent menu of that includes oozing pain au chocolat and sugar-laced almond croissants, widely hailed by food critics as the best in the world.

Originally opened in a hole-in-the-wall in Elwood in 2012, Kate Reid used her background as a Formula 1 aerodynamicist and a stint studying pastry-making in Paris to produce buttery, flaky creations that have become a Melbourne institution.

In 2015 she opened Lune’s flagship store in a converted warehouse on Rose Street in Fitzroy, which was quickly followed by a smaller store in Melbourne CBD.

Lune was due to launch in New South Wales in August 2021, but problems on the construction site slapped the brakes on its interstate expansion.

Co-founder Cam Reid, who opened the flagship store with his sister, Kate, in Fitzroy in 2015, confirmed on Friday that the Sydney branch should open in ‘late 2022 or early 2023, but stayed tight-lipped on the location.

‘The site in Sydney requires a lot of restoration,’ Kate told Broadsheet. 

‘Delays started happening – one month, two months, six months. Suddenly, we had…all of these processes in place ready to go north and expand, but the site wasn’t available.’

The renowned bakery serves a decadent menu of that includes oozing pain au chocolat and sugar-laced almond croissants, widely hailed by food critics as the best in the world

The renowned bakery serves a decadent menu of that includes oozing pain au chocolat and sugar-laced almond croissants, widely hailed by food critics as the best in the world

Originally opened in a hole-in-the-wall in Elwood in 2012, Kate Reid used her background as a Formula 1 aerodynamicist and a stint studying pastry-making in Paris to produce buttery, flaky creations that have become a Melbourne institution

Originally opened in a hole-in-the-wall in Elwood in 2012, Kate Reid used her background as a Formula 1 aerodynamicist and a stint studying pastry-making in Paris to produce buttery, flaky creations that have become a Melbourne institution

Things moved faster further north in Queensland, which got its first taste of Lune’s magic with the opening of a new store in South Brisbane on August 5.

Hundreds of hungry Brisbanites queued for hours to get their hands on the croissants in the midst of a seven-day Covid shutdown.

Long lines of pastry fans were pictured outside the Lune Croissanterie in South Brisbane as staff opened its doors for the first time on August 5.

Lune's croissants (pictured) have been catching the attention of chefs and international pastry makers for many years

Lune’s croissants (pictured) have been catching the attention of chefs and international pastry makers for many years

At one point the queue stretched for more than 350 metres down Manning Street and around the block.

Punters hoping to try the famous croissants queued from as early 5.30am to be first in line for the grand opening at 7.30am.

Lune co-founder Kate Reid said staff were told to give customers outside the Brisbane branch clear instructions about social distancing requirements.

‘We’ve got staff stationed down the line setting the expectation of how customers will need to interact with the line in order to get served,’ she said.

‘We have also liaised with the police to check with them if they had any problems.’

Kate Reid used her background as a Formula 1 aerodynamicist and a stint studying pastry-making in Paris to produce buttery, flaky croissants that have become a Melbourne institution

Kate Reid used her background as a Formula 1 aerodynamicist and a stint studying pastry-making in Paris to produce buttery, flaky croissants that have become a Melbourne institution

‘We showed them our plan and invited them to come and check and they have been incredibly happy with what we’re doing.’

She said the bakery has more than a year of experience operating in Melbourne during Victoria’s first and second waves.

‘We take it super seriously because one case or one infection shuts it down, it costs us so we take it incredibly seriously,’ she said.

The Sydney store is sure to draw crowds when it finally launches if the response to the Brisbane bakery is anything to go by.

Punters outside the Lune Croissanterie wait in line to try one of the 'world's best croissants'

Punters outside the Lune Croissanterie wait in line to try one of the ‘world’s best croissants’

Lune has been catching the attention of chefs and international pastry makers for many years, with a 2016 New York Times article asking: ‘Is the world’s best croissant made in Australia?’ 

Earlier this year, the team took over a second space 250m down the street and launched Moon, a sister bakery that makes nothing but ‘crullers’, a braided cousin of the deep-fried doughnut popular in the US and Canada.

Kate brought the idea from New York where she was first introduced to the cruller in 2016 by New York Times food critic, Oliver Strand, Broadsheet reported.

On the other end of Rose Street, foodies are standing in line for up to an hour to get their hands on one of six signature flavours: vanilla glaze, cappuccino, chocolate, raspberry/passionfruit and cinnamon

On the other end of Rose Street, foodies are standing in line for up to an hour to get their hands on one of six signature flavours: vanilla glaze, cappuccino, chocolate, raspberry/passionfruit and cinnamon

Instagram is filled with photos of crullers (one pictured)

They are often accompanied by cups of coffee, hot chocolate and chai latte from Moon's in-house brand, Coffee Supreme

Instagram is filled with photos of crullers which are often accompanied by cups of coffee, hot chocolate and chai latte from Moon’s in-house brand, Coffee Supreme

The semi-permanent pop-up serves six flavours – vanilla glaze, cappuccino, dark chocolate, raspberry and passionfruit and cinnamon sugar with a touch of ground cardamom – for $5.50 a piece.

Since opening just 250 metres from Lune on May 28, Moon has played host to queues of customers that snake their way down the full length of Rose Street from 7.30am on Thursdays and Fridays, and 8.30am on Saturdays and Sundays.

Instagram is filled with photos of crullers which are often accompanied by cups of coffee, hot chocolate and chai latte from Moon’s in-house brand, Coffee Supreme.

Moon crullers (pictured) are being fried just 250 metres from the original Lune Croissanterie

Moon crullers (pictured) are being fried just 250 metres from the original Lune Croissanterie

The quirky choux pastries (pictured) are a fancy, fluted version of the deep-fried doughnut

The quirky choux pastries (pictured) are a fancy, fluted version of the deep-fried doughnut

Fans have been gushing about the pastries in excited posts since the bakery served its first customer on May 28.

‘Went to the Moon today, lucky it was within my 10km radius. All I have to say is, it was worth the one hour wait,’ one woman wrote.

Another added: ‘Never thought I’d end up queuing up for more than an hour but f**k, worth it.’

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