Wooed by morning sun streaming through the natives of Yarra Bend Park, Megan Phillis and James Meehan were sold when introduced to the “empty shell” in neighbouring Acacia Place.
The pair – previously behind Cafe Italia, Hoy Pinoy and The Meatball Company – named their new cafe Frankie Says. It sits at the back of an apartment block on the Swedish end of Victoria Street in Abbotsford, opposite IKEA. Far from an empty shell, what stands there now is a classy hideout made for all-day grazing.
Floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors, whitewashed wall panelling and tables made from 100-year-old oak all harmonise to create a space that honours the design brief: “relax”.
The breakfast menu is adventurous. The whole-pan buttermilk pancake – baked in the pizza oven and served in the pan – shines bright with whipped vanilla bean mascarpone, berries and breakfast seeds. Sides include maple-glazed Kaiser bacon; and hash brown with taleggio.
Cleanse your palette with a prosecco and stay for lunch. Crispy-based, stone-oven pizzas, and antipasto boards might pull you in, or perhaps a burger.
With a smart wine list and a cabinet full of little cakes, Frankie Says “relax”. And really, there’s no reason not to get comfortable.