Residents of Ocean Grove are all familiar with the site of Uncle Jack’s. At more than 125 years old, it was the first building in the town and originally a general store called Skinner’s Corner.

Ben O’Halloran, Adrian Augert and Sam Evans retained some of the 1888 weatherboard’s history by keeping the original staircase and fireplace, but the centre of attention is the glass panel set in the polished cement floor, revealing the cellar of the original premises.

The community-focused cafe is half an hours’ drive from Geelong. The trio tries to keep things as local as possible – produce is sourced mainly in Geelong and from Bellarine Peninsula. The cakes are from O’Halloran’s mum’s shop, James Street Bakery in the Geelong CBD. Coffee is by Five Senses.

Having tried a few different styles with their menu, the boys found a simpler approach was the winner. The menu has a focus on classic cafe fare such as avo smash, but also doesn’t shy away from less familiar ingredients such as chermoula and kaiserfleisch. The burger-heavy nature of the menu is another selling point.

Updated: November 19th, 2020

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