Nostalgia done with style
Lordy, there she goes again, your dear old aunt Bessie, banging on about the good old days. How folks back then had manners, and children were seen but not heard. A golden age when you knew the names of all your neighbours, and your corner shop sold everything you needed.
She’s right about one thing at least: nothing beats a well-stocked, old-fashioned corner store. And when that corner store doubles as a tiny cafe dishing up hearty home-cooked fare that even the post-war generation would approve of, then you’ve really hit the jackpot. Welcome to Grigons & Orr, where the best of yesteryear meets today’s (slightly fussier) culinary sensibilities.
Think comfort food classics with a cool contemporary twist. The coddled eggs with grilled-cheese soldiers come with tasty chilli jam and fresh herbs, and there’s no going back to store-bought crumpets once you’ve sampled G&O’s plump homemade variety. Good luck choosing between the sweet and savoury French toast, or which flavoured milkshake you want, or what fillings to have in your jaffle. It’s a veritable feel-good hit parade around here.
Housed in a historic building that was a corner store back in the 1860s, Grigons & Orr wears its heart on its sleeve. There are crocheted bunny rugs for diners seated at outside tables and vintage magazines to leaf through. Tea and coffee are served in sweet antique porcelain cups and saucers. Meanwhile, sentimental faves like mixed lollies, Velvet soap, Nesquik and even milk in – gasp! – glass bottles can be bought over the counter. But this is no tragic time-trap: it’s nostalgia done with style. Why not treat aunt Bessie to brunch?
Cnr Queensberry & Chetwynd sts, North Melbourne
0487 608 489
Open Mon–Fri, 7am–4pm; Sat–Sun, 8am–4pm