North & Common, the new restaurant at Pentridge Prison, is fittingly located in the repurposed penitentiary’s former mess hall.

The eatery, which was designed by Chada, has an old-meets-new fit-out. The prison’s original bluestone walls and hardwood rafters contrast with more contemporary porcelain-tiled floors, white stone countertops and terracotta-coloured seats for up to 180 guests. These touches, combined with a 10-metre-high ceiling, make for a relaxed and elegant dining room that served as part of the inspiration for the menu.

“We want the food to be a reflection of that space,” says executive chef Mark Glenn, who previously worked at Cumulus Inc and Dinner by Heston.

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His menu changes seasonally depending on what local suppliers have available. At the moment, green figs, which are sweeter and plumper than fig varieties more commonly found on menus, are used in cocktails and desserts like the deconstructed mille-feuille with sweet potato crisps, bergamot and mascarpone along with the green figs.

For dinner (and lunch, which starts on starting June 4), diners will find a seasonal selection of share plates like pine mushrooms, shaved chestnuts and thyme on a bed of black barley; spanner crab risoni with a crustacean emulsion; and miso butter-poached calamari with charred brussels sprouts and Aleppo pepper.

Cocktails include coffee spritzes and truffle and sun-dried tomato Martinis while the wine list, curated by sommelier Liinaa Berry, who also leads the ship at the adjoining wine bar Olivine, covers both playful and more serious drops. Diners can also choose from Olivine’s list of over 500 bottles.

The restaurant, which is part of Pentridge’s Adina Hotel, also opens for breakfast daily, with dishes like croissant loaf French toast with lemon curd and an open spanner crab omelette.

North & Common
1 Pentridge Boulevard, Coburg
(03) 9100 9000

Mon to Fri 7am–10.30am & 5.30pm–11pm
Sat & Sun 7am–10.30am, 12pm–2.30pm & 5.30pm–11pm