New Melbourne haunt Juno Eatery invites diners to rejuvenate with farm-to-table dining set within simple surroundings imbued with soft light and milky tones.
Juno is the second eatery by restaurateur Ahmed Mekawy and follows in the success of Prior Thornbury, which he launched two years ago. This younger McKinnon sibling shares a solid familial resemblance, not least on its brunch menu, which emphasises ‘wild, local, seasonal, organic and ethically sourced ingredients whenever possible, promoting sustainability,’ with staples like Moreton Bay bug rolls and thick ricotta brioche toast, loaded with jam.
Interiors are by Ritz & Ghougassian and take direct influence from its setting within the concrete-forward MCKN apartment building. The practice has embraced a rustic and industrial DNA and the playful mantra of Juno – the Roman goddess of youthfulness and rejuvenation – as inspiration for its soothing interventions.
Pale timbers are used for floors, furniture, and sliding barn doors, while the L-shaped layout is organised by panels of milky fibreglass set within a timber grid. Fibreglass is also used overhead to conceal pipes and ducts, simplifying views through the dining room.
Meanwhile, at the front of the cafe is a ‘marketplace’ with glass and wooden pastry displays and shelves with products for sale, such as jars of pickled vegetables, jams, bags of coffee and mugs. Artist Bobby Clark has covered its smooth concrete walls in simple, childlike illustrations to differentiate the space and hark back to the roots of Juno’s menu.