Walk around Brunswick East and you’ll see a thickening grove of new apartment buildings. So acclaimed chef Matt Wilkinson (Pope Joan and Hams and Bacon) and long-time business partner Ben Foster spotted an opportunity: reinvent the milk bar and convenience store to serve the growing population.
Opening last week, Jack Horner serves Allpress coffee and breakfast jaffles from 7am, and canteen-style meals from 11.30am. Customers can choose from roasted free-range chicken (with four different types of seasoning), Christmas-style hams, house-made cheeses, sandwiches, fresh salads and soft-serves to eat-in or takeaway.
A small retail space stocks everyday grocery items, handpicked by Wilkinson. It’s where fancy peanut butter co-exists with Kraft, where organic dark chocolate lives next to the Caramello Koalas. “These are things I eat or use myself in the canteen and at home,” says Wilkinson.
The space, designed by Foster and Melbourne’s Figureground Architecture features smart wooden stools and tables, a nod to the duo’s popular Pope Joan cafe. But Jack Horner is not Pope Joan.
“Jack Horner is a canteen and a new-age milk bar,” Wilkinson says. “It’s about community, convenience and consistency.”
It’s the place to grab a quick breakfast, a hearty meal, a takeaway chook or some loo paper if you’ve run out.