In the trendy suburb of Thornbury in Melbourne’s inner north lies ‘Prior Cafe’: a stylish, bright, and pared-back brunch spot serving contemporary, Middle Eastern-inspired breakfast and lunch plates with a farm-to-table motivation.
The generously-sized space is designed by architecture studio Ritz & Ghougassian to house between 80 to 100 people. It features a long leather seating banquette, an eight-meter-high truss ceiling, and communal wooden benches positioned in front of a log fire. A visually-appealing focal point however is the service bar, constructed with clay bricks and finished with a pigmented concrete bench. Brick-paved floors and apricot-hued brick walls complete the simple material palette, capturing the essence of the cafe’s warm hues and natural feel. “Having redesigned most of the existing space, the only elements that remain from the original structure are the gabled timber trusses,” explain the architects to IGNANT.
The furniture is a bespoke design, of which the leather was selected to complement the masonry,” they continue. The interior’s elegance is complemented by the dishes on offer, executed by chef Nick Korceba—examples include an oven-baked black tahini salmon filet with pumpkin purée and crunchy purple kale, polenta with wild mushrooms and pecorino, and the classic Australian brunch dish of a poached egg, avocado, and feta on toast, with beetroot hummus and za’atar. A unique hospitality experience in one of the country’s most renowned culinary areas.