The humble sandwich has come a long way from the local tuck shop’s ham, cheese and tomato number. No longer are we seeing the ex-canteen staff of your high school stacking up that bready combo; instead, some of the city’s most renowned chefs are bringing a nuance to the lunch item like Melbourne hasn’t seen before. The latest is Jolly Good Sandwiches from Chef Raphael Exton-Pery, whose pedigree draws back through his time at Spensley’s, Little Andorra and more recently Gimlet.
The name Jolly Good is likely ringing bells, and for good reason. Exton-Pery originally kicked off the project during lockdown last year putting on several one-day-only pop-ups across the inner north. Anyone who managed to score one of his sangas—and anyone who saw the lines—will know the hype is palpable for the likes of his chicken, rare roast beef and farmhouse cheddar sandwiches, and that’s why the chef is serving up his signature brand of sandwiches from a permanent home.
Like any new concept that’s won over Melbourne, Exton-Pery knows his niche. While a good chunk of Melbourne’s sandwich scene is putting focus on morning fare and coffee, Exton-Pery is angling for a boozy affair by teaming up with Fitzroy boutique beer bar Near & Far for the venture and filling the vacant space next door.
“Basically, it's going to be a boutique bottle shop, but the kind of bottle shop where you can purchase a bottle of booze and sit and drink in the venue. There'll be a couple of taps in the space as well and then there's a big open kitchen—so it'll be Jolly Good in collaboration with Near & Far.” Exton-Pery said.
“Initially I will just be serving during the day but I want to eventually push into doing evenings where we’ll continue to focus on the kind of sandwiches you’d want to have a bottle of wine or a couple of beers with.”
Sandwich-goers who missed out at previous pop-ups can rest easy knowing it’ll be sticking around. Exton-Pery even hints at collaborative booze down the line.
You can get your fix along with a bottle of fine beer at 375 Brunswick Street on Saturday 5 June from 11am until sold out. Keep an eye on the Jolly Good Instagram for more details.
Check out more movements in Melbourne’s hospitality scene here.
Image credit: supplied