Greeted by friendly pink chairs and a local or two, you’ll find Mr Frankie sitting pretty among the Norman Avenue shops in Frankston South. Owners Bri and John Hastings and Paula and Tom Walker, have set the bar high for suburban cafes, introducing us to their “slice of Melbourne” at the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula. Mr Frankie, named after the suburb itself, sets a precedent for what we hope Frankston will continue to offer its locals.
You’ll notice first the thoughtfully designed interior, delivered by designer Alesha Harrison; shades of blue and pink invite you to stay awhile and enjoy the art-deco inspired murals, purpose-built furniture, and of course, delicious food. Touches like etched tables, local art and terracotta tiled walls give the space a curated edge, and anticipates the quality of dishes on offer.
Head chef Casey, previously found at award-winning restaurant Cumulus, has crafted a menu fit for any city establishment; generous brioche french toast, vegan bircher muesli and slow-cooked beef ribs feature on their curated list. We recommend the pumpkin and halloumi fritters, proving themselves to be a favourite since opening day.
After being delayed several months, it was a bold move to open at the beginning of winter, but John explains the response to the new venture was above what they could have hoped. Employing Peninsula locals and using seasonal produce where possible, we love the commitment to truly reflecting what is, and could be possible south of the city.
Mr Frankie has ambitious plans ahead; the venue is set to stay open late as a wine bar, serving tapas with a more fine-dining feel. For now, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for the new season menu and whatever else Mr Frankie has to offer us.