Matt Ward and Mitch Haworth have opened two cafes before – Prospect Espresso in Camberwell and Townhouse in Toorak. Now they’re adding a new cafe with a dinner and cocktail service to their repertoire on Victoria Street, Richmond.

“It’s a relatively untapped area with just a couple of good places, but nothing like what we’re doing,” says Haworth.

“We wanted to emphasise the social side of dining out and create a place that’s laid-back, unfussy and welcoming to everyone,” says Haworth.

In an area that serves a lot of noodle soup, Holla offers something very different.

The lunch and dinner menu comprises a variety of Gippsland beef cuts and fish from the grill, as well as a good collection of vegetarian share plates and sides. There’s also a focus on local Australian ingredients, such as finger lime and a bush-tomato ketchup that accompanies the hand-cut chips.

The space seats 100 people with distinct dining areas including semi-private booths, a private dining room and seating at the long bar.

“In hospitality there’s always a bit of rivalry between the kitchen and front of house, so we’ve removed a wall barrier, put the bar and kitchen together, and created this really nice energy where we all work together and no-one can be in a bad mood,” says Haworth.

Holla’s interior (by Tim & Alix Designs) features a calming shade of moss green on the walls with hanging indoor plants and black tiles. “It’s a very relaxing environment with different tones to what you might see in a cafe,” says Ward.

Breakfast cocktails are offered. So are boozy milkshakes. There’s beer on tap and a wine list of 26 drops from Australia, New Zealand and Italy.

284 Victoria Street, Richmond
(03) 8394 3487

Mon & Tues 7am–4pm
Wed to Fri 7am–11pm
Sat & Sun 8am–11pm