When Peregrine Social Club – Perry’s for short – opens tomorrow, residents of Valley Lake in Keilor East will finally have the cafe they were promised when they first bought into the area over 15 years ago.

The new family-friendly cafe is in the middle of Niddrie Quarry, once a source of basalt for paving Melbourne’s roads. The quarry was purchased by Development Victoria (then the Urban Land Corporation) in 2000, and later transformed into Valley Lake residential estate, complete with its own namesake body of water, a hub of serenity for locals.

Owners David Bartl, Jacob Bettio and Taylor (who together own Moonee Ponds beer hall Holmes Hall), along with Charlotte Rose and James Curby (co-owners of Perry's, but not Holmes Hall), have spent over a year renovating the former land sales office, a boxy building on the boardwalk with wall-length windows overlooking the lake, into Perry’s. As Taylor tells Broadsheet, this was something Valley Lake residents were told would happen when they first bought into the development.

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Predominantly a weekday cafe, Perry’s will open past dinner on weekends, with wiggle room for last drinks on Fridays and Saturdays. “If it’s buzzing, of course we will stay open a little later,” says Bartl (the cafe is licensed until 11pm.)

“Funnily enough, I was reading a Broadsheet article recently, on the dos and don’ts of opening a new venue,” says Bartl. “One piece of advice was not to rush when deciding on location, because it’s so key. Ours is so unique, we just want to have fun with it!”

Jaunty umbrellas and cheerful branding cap off a friendly fit-out and help create a laid-back space where people can feel at home. The blue and white building is complete with a shaded outdoor deck which features a doggy drink station and free “puppacinos”.

For hungry humans, the menu is a hit list of classics. Bartl’s go-to order depends on the time of day. Breakfast might call for the roasted portobello mushroom with goat’s cheese, and Perry’s signature wattleseed iced coffee. For dinner, their parma – traditional chicken or eggplant (easily made vegan) – is a standout and uses a recipe from Holmes Hall.

“We’re fortunate to have a bunch of really loyal regular customers at our venues, who have become friends. So it’s nice to think they can go from Holmes to Perry’s, and continue [to have] that same experience that they love,” says Bartl.

Given the scarcity of local watering holes, the drinks offering is important. The team worked with Moon Dog to make Perry’s Draught, a refreshing house brew available on tap. A rotating selection of craft beer tinnies will also appear, alongside favourite cocktails from Holmes Hall including Passionfruit Margs, Pomegranate Sours and Industry Beans Espresso Martinis.

Happily, this hands-on team (which as well as Holmes Hall is behind previous ventures Ascot Lot and Fizz & Hop) have form in establishing a neighbourhood vibe – and they have big plans in store. The vision: Sunday farmers markets, miniature boat races and a range of activities to bring the social club element to life. There is also talk of film nights, perhaps projecting movies onto the adjacent cliff face, or floating a giant inflatable screen on the lake to view from the venue.

“It’s not just about Perry’s, it’s about activating a whole suburb in a new way and getting the community together.”

Peregrine Social Club
45 Valley Lake Boulevard, Keilor East
No phone

Hours:
Mon to Thurs 7am–4pm
Fri 7am–9pm
Sat & Sun 8am–9pm

@peregrinesocialclub