Tuckertorium stood on the corner of Tucker and Patterson Roads in Bentleigh for more than 50 years – since at least 1965. Now, after two years of planning and renovations, it’s been turned into Good Times Milk Bar, a colourful, Californian-cool cafe.

“We couldn't walk away from the position or the presence of the old corner store,” says co-owner Brent Scales. “We tried as much as possible to create a mix of new and old; we didn’t want to cover up what was there previously.”

The other owner is Brett Louis, co-founder of Sugar Mountain festival. He designed the colourful fit-out of Palm Springs pink and French blue. The walls are adorned with ’80s-style pop art by Hours After including an ice-cream cone, a beach ball, a life preserver, coffee, dogs and burgers.

“When we were working with Hours After they said: ‘What are your good times?’ and we described it to them,” Scales says. “Having an ice-cream with your kids, playing and walking your dog, grabbing a coffee.”

In a huge space that feels like it goes on forever, things are kept fresh with plenty of indoor plants. There’s more room out back in the four-legged-friendly courtyard, which includes beanbags – perfect for a comfy Sunday arvo kick-back.

All-day breakfast options include egg soldiers with relish, and pastrami Benedict with potato waffles, poached eggs and brown-butter hollandaise. For something lighter, go the shaved-zucchini salad with butter beans, buckwheat, salted ricotta and pine nuts. On the sweeter side, try the ricotta hotcakes with berry compote, meringue crumb, vanilla ice-cream, spiced maple syrup and popping candy. A 180-gram beef burger with beer-battered fries is available from 11am.

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Rotating sweets come from Little Bertha and Cremorne St. Bakers, and coffee from Small Batch Roasting Co.

Scales has fond memories of after-school visits to his own local milk bar. He hopes Good Times can meld that nostalgic community feel with contemporary cafe culture.

“The whole concept is to be a local neighbourhood hub and for people in the area to come in, love, hang out,” he says. “You know, like when milk bars were in their heyday.”

For more places like Good Times, visit our Guide to Melbourne’s Best Milk Bars.

Good Times Milk Bar
83 Tucker Road, Bentleigh
(03) 9557 4868

Hours:
Daily 7am–4pm

goodtimesmilkbar.com.au