Since opening in 2019, Dorcas Street brunch spot Nine Yards has proved a hit with locals thanks to its welcoming neighbourhood feel, all-day brunch offering and solid drinks selection.

Now, the flagship site is expanding to three more locations by the end of the year. The first of those has just opened in Armadale, taking over the heritage-listed building that recently housed Willow Urban Retreat.

“Over the last five years, we’ve really established a strong following in South Melbourne for Nine Yards as a brand,” operations manager Robert Reali tells Broadsheet. “So the idea is to extend that to more spaces throughout Victoria and Melbourne.”

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Photography: Pablo Diaz

The Nine Yards team is a real who’s who of Melbourne’s hospo scene. It includes owners Matt Vero and Steve Rowley (Coin Laundry), Tall Timber, Marquis of Lorne), Kenny Oliver (Port of Call), and executive chef Lydia Hean (ex-Plain Sailing)

After taking ownership of Willow in December, the team kept the wellness hub’s cafe running until the end of January, before closing to begin a month-long renovation. They worked with Robyn Levin of Collingwood design firm Wildflower to fill the cafe with warmth, using walnut finishings and ochre fabrics to update Willow’s minimalist, Scandi-style fit-out.

Coupled with the cafe’s physical transformation is a brand-new menu that has a mix of Nine Yards’ favourite dishes and some Armadale-only additions. Patrons of the South Melbourne spot will find favourites including avocado on dark rye toast topped with roasted beetroot, feta, salsa verde, tamari pepitas and a poached egg. There’s also the Build a Benedict, with potato hash, poached eggs, apple-cider hollandaise and a choice of either smoked salmon with caper dressing or bacon and pork crackle.

Willow bowl. Photography: Pablo Diaz

New dishes include an Aussie iteration of French toast, served here with wattleseed sugar, Anzac-biscuit mascarpone, fresh banana and blueberries. There’s also an affectionate nod to Willow’s menu with the Willow bowl, which comes with brown rice, nori, avocado, edamame, cabbage and togarashi, and is topped with pickled ginger, miso dressing and wasabi kewpie mayo, plus a choice of smoked salmon or grilled chicken.

Espresso beans are courtesy of Melbourne roaster Niccolo Coffee. There’s also a specialty black coffee from Maker, as well as chai and hot chocolate from Mork. You’ll also find a wide selection of house-made smoothies and pressed juices.

Nine Yards Armadale
1203 High Street, Armadale
No phone

Mon to Fri 7am–3pm
Sat & Sun 7.30am–3pm