George Sykiotis and George Calombaris of Made Establishment recently opened a new milk bar styled Jimmy Grants, in the iconic Emporium Building in Melbourne. Techné Architecture + Interior Design created the design as an homage to a 1970’s/1980’s Melbourne Milk Bar or Mixed Business, that were often synonymous with Greek immigrants.
When I moved from Cyprus to Melbourne in 1949, I got a job at the Docks. Everyone who came by boat was looking for work like me, but no true blue Aussie could pronounce my name. To them I was just another immigrant. Whether from Greece, Italy or China we were all just called ‘Jimmy Grant’.
– George Sykiotis, Director at Made Establishment
The Athenian-style souvlaki restaurant will be located in the old Myer Building in Lonsdale Street, that has been spectacularly transformed in the Emporium Building. Techne avoided in their design all traditional stereotypical Greek Tavern style elements, and instead focused on the reproduction turn of the century timber framed milk bar shop front, with a playful and sentimental feel.
The scheme pays a playful and nostalgic homage to Melbourne’s suburban milk bars of past decades. This is clearly demonstrated through it’s timber ‘shop front’ style façade which contains signage and ornate details that are reminiscent of their time. In contrast the servery area represents a later era and it is formed out of brickwork to help it purposely read as an extension, as if it was added to the shop at a later date.
– Dale McDougall from Techne
All materials chosen by Techné are evocative of the Milk Bar theme. The main focal point of the shop is a mosaic wall that features a custom Kimmy Grants logo. The wall will also be replicated on the servery wall, as well as the back of house wall.
The careful choice of materials play a big part in the success of the scheme. The use of various mosaic tiles, a Terrazzo floor and an awning formed from a striped canvas help bring a level of authenticity to the scheme by creating various historic layers.
– Dale McDougall from Techné
Behind the point of sale counter, a feature wall showcases black and white graphic images of ‘jimmy grants’ or immigrants as they are known. End to End Creative Graphics produced the eyes catching images which are typical to the Milk bar typology.
*All images and information courtesy of Techné.