Raphael Exton-Pery had worked just six days as a junior sous chef at Andrew McConnell’s new city spot Gimlet before coronavirus hit.

But the Melbourne chef, whose CV also lists Clifton Hill wine bar Spensley’s and Carlton North’s Little Andorra, has fought off lockdown lethargy by sinking his teeth into a side hustle.

Jolly Good Sandwiches is a takeaway-only pop-up that’s set to open at Fitzroy North’s Eddie Gardens-adjacent wine bar Underwood in mid-September – and run every Saturday until Exton-Pery returns to work at Gimlet.

Now, while there are some damn good sangas around town, Exton-Pery wants to help drum up a Melbourne sandwich “culture” – as we have for coffee and brunch.

His contribution? “Fresh, everyday sandwiches,” he says, as opposed to the often-unhealthy “special occasion” ones that can line you up for a sluggish afternoon.

There’ll be four available to kick things off: rare roast beef with Swiss cheese, bread-and-butter pickles and citrus aioli; chorizo, manchego, charred roast capsicum and bitter leaves; herby, mayo-slathered chicken salad; and a classic Aussie salad sanga with crunchy pickled carrot and beetroot.

They’ll be made to order on crusty mini-baguettes using produce from Casa Iberica, Calendar Cheese and Northside Fruit & Veg (and come with Exton-Pery’s preferred sandwich side: corn chips).

A takeaway liquor licence is also in the pipeline, so expect a $20 sandwich-and-tinnie combo. And long-term, the plan is a two-in-one wine bar and sandwich shop.

Jolly Good Sandwiches is slated to open at Underwood Wine Bar, 181 St George’s Road, Fitzroy North, in mid-September – restrictions pending.

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