In the midst of Adelaide’s first coronavirus lockdown, an unassuming shopfront on North East Road became available – at a steal. Zac Mucklow, who’d been looking for a space for his first cafe, heard about this one through his father (who owns the jeweller next door), and jumped at it. It’s expected to open in Walkerville in late January.

“This is me stepping out for the first time. It’s nerve-racking,” says Mucklow, who previously studied journalism and worked at cafes across the city. “I’ve been in hospo for a while, and I liked the fact that a cafe was the one place that brought people together; it gave that community feel. Especially when it’s located in a suburb, like here.”

Mucklow has a clear vision for Yolk, and in the months since finding the location, has been teaching himself everything he needs to realise it: graphic design and branding; interior design; balancing a budget. It’s been a steep learning curve, but a rewarding one. “It’s light, it’s earthy … it’s warm, it’s inviting,” says Mucklow of his hopes for the space. “I want people to come in here and just feel comfortable. You know, grab your laptop out and sit up at the bar.” There’ll be terrazzo countertops, wooden stools and a neon fried egg greeting customers.

Head Chef Cory Geddes, who worked at Bird in Hand Winery for the last year before they closed to upgrade, will be leading a team of four in the kitchen. There’ll be smoked salmon bagels; chicken katsu sandwiches; smashed pumpkin and avocado on toast; and a sous-vide chicken salad with zucchini cream, mizuna (Japanese mustard greens), parsnip chips, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds and pistachio. Pastrami will be cured in-house for Reuben toasties. Coffee meringue waffles and a “barista breakfast” – a serve of batch coffee, a shot of espresso and a flat white – will round out the menu.

“It’ll be nutritious and wholesome [with] lots of vegetarian and vegan options,” says Mucklow. “And everything on the menu’s sourced locally. We’re trying to support locals as much as we can at the moment, especially during times like this.” Coffee will be supplied by Dawn Patrol, and bread will come from the nearby Rustico Bakery.

An outdoor space at the back of the cafe will soon be transformed with plants, umbrellas, a verandah and tables and chairs. “We’re thinking of doing markets out there, too,” says Mucklow. “So on the weekends we’ll get a local shop down, like a florist, and they’ll sell different things. We’ll do something different every weekend as well.”

Yolk is scheduled to open at 42 North East Road, Walkerville on January 20.