For six months the Commercial Road warehouse that formerly housed Blue Sky Coffee lay quiet. But behind the scenes, new owners Tarryn and Ben Brown were working furiously to bring their vision of a laid-back bar and restaurant to life in the form of Mrs Brown’s.
Much of that time was spent building the interior and furniture themselves. “You might recognise the long marble bar from the former Jo Jo’s in the city,” Tarryn says. “But we made the tables and the wire racks for all the plants. Almost everything except the chairs is recycled or handmade by us.”
Mrs Brown’s is place of long lunches, relaxed summer dinners and after work drinks. The huge front windows looking on to Commercial Road brighten up the dark wood interior. “We want to create a place that’s unpretentious and relaxed,” Tarryn says. “We’ve lived in the area for ten years and, with all the new developments, the price of everything has been rising steadily. What we offer is generosity at a reasonable price.”
Head chef Adam Marino has spent time at both Longtime and Spirit House. That confident approach to flavour carries through into the Mrs Brown’s lunch and dinner menu of snacks, salads and roast dinner share plates. Peek through to the kitchen and you’ll see a rotisserie oven, which produces juicy roast chicken enhanced by a spice rub.
On the bar menu, a kimchi and pork taco is hardly original but stands out from the competition with its crispy, flaky paratha bread (an Indian invention) and sour, subtly spicy kimchi. The menu’s hearty salads work well for lunches, or you can go all out with roasted chicken, lamb, pork or mushrooms and all the classic sides (hello, honey carrots).
The drinks list features plenty of fan-favourite Australian and overseas wines, as well as cocktails and a rotating selection of craft beers. You can even order pizza or gelato from neighbours Gianni’s or La Macelleria Gelateria and have it delivered to the bar. Mrs Brown’s makes everything that easy.