The owner of Rowena Corner Store, Con, has transformed the old 1950’s milk-bar into a welcoming cafe come general store come milkbar that has a cool vintage vibe, but with an eccentric touch of Greece thrown in for fun.
At peak times on weekdays it is packed to the rafters with workers from the nearby radio station as well as local Mum’s with bubs, kids, prams and dogs. It is not rare to see 3 or 4 Prams (mainly Bugaboos, as this is Richmond after all) lined up on the footpath outside, in order to maintain a sense of space inside. On weekends the clientle is a mix of mainly locals enjoying a quick coffee or a leisurely breakkie, or footy-goers popping in on their way to the G.
The food is simple cafe fare that is homely, honest and has a Greek influence. Breakkies include Bircher, Muesli with Greek yoghurt, Turkish toast, “The Perfect BLT”, eggs and all the usual sides. Lunch covers everything from pre-made Turkish breads, to pies, to Theofani’s (Con’s Mamma) famous spanikoptia, to other tasty Greek delights such as Kaski – red roasted peppers, tomato, ricotta, fetta and a hint of chilli, served with Turkish toast. The quality is excellent, the eggs are free-range and the bread is organic. Oh and they make the best chocolate milkshakes too!
I love this place, I love their coffee, I love the crazy Santorini mural on the wall, I love the old-school 50’s vibe and I love the staff who are all just so genuinely nice and friendly. They are very welcoming to my little ones and will help with doors when I am trying to push the pram and juggle my take-away latte. And I also love that I can pick up a sneaky Peppermint Pattie or Twix when I stop in for my coffee.
On paper this cafe may not appear to be super kid friendly as they do not have all the trimmings of high-chairs, kids menus, change tables and the like. However the simple food, the free baby-cino’s, the relaxing local atmosphere, the residential side street address, the friendly staff, the novelty milk bar factor all make for a fun destination for kids. There are treats galore too – the little ones can enjoy milkshakes, gingerbread men, and house made muffins and slices. And if they need a little help to be kept entertained at the table, then the Cafe Kidz activity packs are available for purchase.
However, remember – this is a milk bar and general store, so the little ones may be eyeing off the lollipops, redskins and freddo frogs while you are trying to get them to have “just one more bite” of their muesli. However its the type of place where you will feel instantly relaxed and may not worry about mundane things such as the amount of sugar your charges consume, so why not indulge your littlie and while you’re at it, sit back, order another coffee, flick through the paper and have a little treat yourself.
PS: Beware… the old vintage sign on the wall states “Unattended children will be given espresso and a free kitten”. You’ve been told.