Eltham sits in one of Victoria’s 12 green wedge zones. Its low density and abundance of protected parks particularly appeal to young families. A new all-day cafe, Third Chapter, might make it even more enticing.

Originally from Perth, Third Chapter owner Kevin Cortesao met his wife, Georgina, in Eltham. He’s felt strongly connected to the local community ever since.

“I live ten minutes away from the cafe and my two children attend the local primary school my wife teaches at,” says Cortesao. “We want to be there for the community and provide a nice, family-friendly space with fair pricing, generous serves and good food that people can depend on.”

The cafe’s name refers to the owner’s “third chapter” in his career, having opened two preceding cafes – Spencer Street’s Rojo Cafe and Ella James in Tullamarine.

Third Chapter’s extensive menu is designed for crowd pleasing, serving familiar dishes with a contemporary edge. It’s sectioned into chapters. For the “prologue”, there’s an all-day breakfast with standards such as buttermilk pancakes, coconut chia pudding and a salmon stack. Entrees and sharing plates for the “first chapter” include saganaki and taramasalata alongside chicken wings. Burgers round out the “second chapter”, and a solid parmy and pastas for the third. Dessert closes the metaphorical book with creme caramel and chocolate fondant.

“We want to offer customers dishes they understand and love, so we’ve catered to the big eaters, lighter eaters, kids and those with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets,” says Cortesao.

Cortesao’s large family originates from a little island in Portugual called Madeira. The Espetada dish on the menu is a family favourite for casual gatherings of up to a hundred: Black Angus rump, chargrilled on a skewer with rock salt, bay leaves and garlic, and served with polenta and salad.

“Sharing my roots and the flavours I was brought up with was one thing I especially wanted to share with the area,” says Cortesao.

A streetside window offers take-away meals and drinks, including Five Senses coffee, iced teas, smoothies, and a house-made cherry and lavender lemonade.

Third Chapter make many of its products in-house, while also supporting locals. “Our micro herbs are supplied by a local Eltham man and we think they really add an extra level of care and beauty to our dishes that our customers appreciate,” says Cortesao.

Inside, the fit-out is spacious and earthy, seating 200 in solid timber furniture, while hanging plant baskets complement the surrounding natural environment. There’s a variety of small and large tables with lounge seating ideal for a slow afternoon of cheese and wine.

Plans are moving quickly to install a large decking area with space for 100 in time for summer. “It’s a great crowd here, even the council is lovely to work with,” says Cortesao.

Third Chapter
26 Commercial Place, Eltham

(03) 9439 9514

Hours:
Mon to Sun 7am – late

thirdchapter.com.au