Tucked away from the chaos of Punt Road and the bustle of Bridge Road, Rowena Parade Corner Store is a local treasure that has been providing the Richmond community with their daily newspaper, milk and bread since 1956. And there’s no sign of them stopping anytime soon.
When current owner Con Coustas took the reins in 2004, he sought to extend their offerings to include simple but soulful cafe fare. The interior has gone through a number of restorations, while still hanging on to the store’s vintage charm and Mediterranean influences. The Santorini feature wall, which Coustas explains was originally affixed as a temporary and ‘kitsch’ addition, has become an iconic part of the cafe.
From the kitchen, you can expect a Mediterranean twist, including paninis, ciabattas and burgers served on Turkish bread from the Abbotsford Convent. For breakfast, you can’t ignore the evolution of The Perfect BLT from the classic combo all the way to the mighty B.E.L.T.A.C. (add in an egg, avocado and cheese). Greek specialties such as the plaki (giant beans) and spanakopita are also not to be overlooked.
With a spacious back room and a quaint courtyard painted in traditional white and blue, the Corner Store has a variety of spaces. And while Coustas’ custom made sliding stepladder recalls grocery stores of a long, lost past and kids can still come in and stuff themselves silly from a huge range of lollies; they'll need a few more dollars than in the fifties.