On a quiet strip in Cheltenham beneath a block of apartments, Harry Butler opened a cafe, Frank’s – named after his late grandfather, but also the venue’s attitude.
A carpenter by trade, Butler wanted to create a welcoming, unpretentious retreat for locals with a simple menu, stripped of buzzwords. He makes sure to get around to each table to introduce himself and have a chat, and staff encourage locals to get to know their barista, chatting over All Press coffee.
Head chef Eli Faye (ex-head pastry chef at Tommy Collins events and ex-head chef at Golden Child in Glen Iris) cooks up a menu with Asian and French influences, in an open kitchen.
The breakfast menu leans heavily vegetarian, with a bunch of vegan, gluten- and dairy-free options. Try the Vegan Scrambled Eggs – scrambled tofu, tomatoes, smoked eggplant purée, spinach pancakes and pepitas – or granola with acai puree, coconut jelly, chai seeds and mango three ways.
The eggs Benedict comes with crispy pork belly, jus, and bubble and squeak. For lunch, there’s a crispy chicken on Asian slaw, soba noodles and edamame beans with a mirin dressing. Frank’s gets its meat from Felice’s Place Gourmet Butcher in Elwood.
Ewert Leaf Design is behind the warm, minimalist fit-out. The studio previously designed Hampton’s Bakery, Standing Room and Hawk & Hunter. There’s a mixture of seating, with long timber communal tables and dark-chocolate leather booth-seating along one side of the space. Customers can also sit at a bar facing the street, with retractable windows giving the sense of being both inside and outside.