YOU’D be forgiven for missing the newly renovated Couch space at the Salvation Army in Bourke St, but trust me, this gem is well worth seeking out.
Moved away from the street to the back of the building, it can most easily be reached by going up the alley to the right-hand side of 69 Bourke St. Inside, you’re greeted by what looks like a comfortable restaurant. It’s tastefully decorated in warm colours, with wooden booths and lots of tables. In the corner a television is mounted surrounded by couches.
While the interior may have changed, the things that brought international students to The Couch have stayed the same. The food is still cheap and brought out all night if you get hungry. There’s tea and coffee, as well as lollies if you’re lucky. And lots of friendly international students.
The official launch was two weeks ago, but if you haven’t gotten yourself down to see yet what this has become, you should. The Salvation Army has operated out of Bourke St for over a hundred years, but there’s nothing at all old or stuffy about this funky space.
The Couch is open Sunday to Thursday nights from 5pm to 9pm at 69 Bourke Street.