The Old Milk Bar is a neighbourhood fixture around Thornbury, just like its namesake in the ’70s. It’s only been there since 2014, but looks more established than most of the houses around it.

Owner Jim Antonopoulos has been emphasising the outdoors ever since he first acquired the space. The front area feels like someone’s garden. It’s dominated by a heavy wooden table, and matched by another indoors.

Antonopoulos, a former mechanic, made the table bases out of old machinery from a farm in New South Wales. He’s also responsible for the counter and light fittings. Chain, metal and wood all feature heavily in the warm red brick space. It’s not Antonopoulos’ first cafe – he started his hospitality career with Venice Cafe in Ormond.

Chef Steve Knight (ex-Barry) prepares dishes such as matcha pancakes; Wagyu brioche burger; and chilli scramble with cheese and jalepeño jam. His beer-battered chips perfectly balance crunch and fluffiness.

The cafe’s coffee roaster fires up early in the morning, wafting its aroma down the street. The smell is a comfort to locals who drop in to get their early morning fix, further cementing the Old Milk Bar’s place in the neighbourhood.

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Updated: September 19th, 2016

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