It was a sad day in Prahran last year when an adored local milk bar on the corner of Murray and York streets closed down after 106 years of business. That sorrow was short lived when, six months later, the corner shop reopened as Murray’s Food Store with much of its original spirit intact.
Owners Jeremy Gaschk (of Easey’s in Collingwood) and India Gauci jumped at the opportunity when the space came onto the market. There was added motivation to move into this particular building: Gauci grew up in a house across the street. The cafe and deli is a tribute to its former occupant and to the legacy of Australia’s suburban milk bars. Walls lined with familiar paraphernalia – much of it unearthed during the renovation – make you feel as though you’ve stepped into some kind of milk-bar museum.
“That local community vibe is what we’re all about,” Gaschk says. There’s a framed photograph of the former shop in tribute, which sits above an ornamental fireplace.
The exterior remains largely unchanged, but one side of the building has been converted into an art wall (Gaschk is a former street artist); a piece by Austrian artist Nychos is currently up, and other works will be displayed in future.
Back inside, bagel options are named after surrounding streets. The eponymous Murray is a crowd pleaser, filled with cured lamb, beetroot relish, pickles, sauerkraut and Gruyere. If bagels aren’t your thing, try a homemade pie (Gaschk says the Egg n Bacon Boys is the tradies’ pie of choice) or a sausage roll.
Murray’s is also, very simply, a milk bar. It sells eggs, cold drinks, dry foods and preserves – there’s even a nostalgic selection of pick-and-mix lollies.
“Basically, anything you’re likely to run out of,” says one local.
Murray’s Food Store
3B Murray Street, Prahran
Tue to Sat 8am–4pm