Situated down the Jam Factory end of Chapel Street, Lucky Penny has knowledgeable baristas, punchy chili oil and Black Ruby gluten-free bread.
Jason Chan and Vanessa Nitsos, formerly of Reservoir’s Lady Bower Cafe, teamed up with Matt ‘Lanis’ Lanigan and Justin Re, both of whom are successful entrepreneurs devoted to the Melbourne food scene.
Designed by Biasol Studio, the interior is influenced by vintage modernism, and it has a rustic Scandinavian vibe. The space is painted all white with blonde-wood floors, high tables, greenery and minimal clutter. The cafe bar is made from reclaimed timber and accompanied by shelf space holding jars of homemade preserves.
Chef Chan is channeling a home-cooked vibe. Breakfast and brunch is all day and all encompassing. It ranges from raw to comfort food, such as the granola served with seasonal yoghurt and carrot slice. The Superfood Breakfast Bowl is also popular; it’s a smoothie in a bowl, with blueberries, banana, and buckwheat served with chia seeds, nuts and kiwi fruit.
The Breakfast of Champions is aimed at the less health conscious, with Jonathan’s bacon, smoky meatballs, rosemary mushrooms, chorizo beans and poached eggs. Lunch items include smoky meat balls in flat bread or the winter warmer Venison stew served with kipflers, colourful carrots, mushrooms and charred bread.