Owners Harriet Roxburgh and chef Harry Peasnell (an Andrew McConnell alumni) have transformed the heritage-listed Imperial Chambers on the corner of Leake and Market streets into an airy, cheery space sitting pretty with whitewashed walls and blond timber. There’s a handsome terrazzo marble bench at the front, and custom-made furniture by Perth-and Adelaide-based designers Remington Matters dotting the room. A deli-style light-box menu gives the space a playful vibe.
The size of the open kitchen speaks to a serious commitment to DIY. In it are two shiny ovens that bake Peggy’s two house breads: a white-sesame-seed sub (kind of like Bakers Delight, but better) and a 48-hour sourdough-focaccia-Turkish-bread hybrid that’s there to support rather than swamp the fillings.
The menu reflects Peasnall’s diverse sandwich tastes, as well as his interest in Melbourne’s new-wave sandwich culture championed by venues such as Hector’s Deli and Falco Bakery. In the morning, guests can hook into a four-cheese toastie ramped up with kimchi salt or Peggy’s homage to the Sausage McMuffin.
From 10am, the five-item core menu kicks in. Past highlights include a Cubano spiked with mojo spice (chilli, garlic and coriander, mostly), Peggy’s take on the continental roll, and a chicken-schnitzel sub. For vegetarians, options might range from an egg-salad number to fried-eggplant-and-spicy-sugo parm, both served on focaccia.
Golden chips are served through the day and are dusted with chicken salt and served with a neat Southern-style comeback-sauce. Beverage options include coffee by Community coffee as well as a bunch of soft drinks. Peggy’s is also fully licensed, which means booze when the spirit moves you.