An icon on the Morning Peninsula since the 1920s, Merricks General Wine Store has gone quietly from strength to strength.
It’s a wine store, a restaurant, a café, an art gallery, a home to local produce and an awesome place to visit.
My most recent visit, just a couple of weeks ago, was just a quick stop in for coffee and cake but every time I visit Merricks General Wine Store I am astounded at how this not so small general store keeps reinventing itself. To be honest my first visit was quite a few years ago now, and while I enjoyed the meal I had there, it wasn’t somewhere I felt I ‘needed’ to go again. WOW – that has opinion has changed!
The Store was built in 1922 by the Joyner family, with the distinctive bullnose verandah that was a feature of that era. In the early years the building was a post office, store and meeting place for the local rural community. Over the years it has also been a favourite with day-trippers and surfers who dropped in for pies, chips, hot chocolate and milkshakes.
For a brief time in 1997, the store was operated as a restaurant and gourmet food pantry; however, by the early 2000s it had become rundown. New owners restored and extended the building and reopened it as a café, convenience store and cellar door.
In 2008, the Myer and Baillieu families bought the General Store and improved it. In Spring 2008, the Merricks General Wine Store opened as a brand new providore, bistro, event space and cellar door.
From the minute we pulled the car into the crowded car park I felt that this was going to be a great experience. The open balcony/deck was full with happy patrons, chatting, smiling and enjoying their food and drinks. We wandered inside, past the open wine store and into the area set aside for diners. The décor was very rustic, welcoming and from the minute I was seated, I felt ‘at home’.
Service was fast and efficient and the coffee was made to perfection – my very weak skinny latte causes many baristas a lot of problems, but not here. The pistachio with lemon drizzle cake was nothing but heaven – soft, moist, tangy and a delight to eat.
If we didn’t already have reservations elsewhere we would have stayed for lunch, but certainly have it planned for sometime in the very near future.
Their breakfast menu is all about fresh, hearty and country and has something for everyone from sourdough with butter and jam to granola with rhubarb compote, house made carrot and date loaf or their yolkey dokey free range eggs.
Lunch in the Bistro caters to all appetites, with small dishes, platters, large plates and sides. Country inspiration shines through in the use of abundant local produce.
Select from the likes of oysters served natural with lemon, merricks charcuterie board: paté de campagne, prosciutto, felino & duck liver parfait w preserved seasonal vegetables and rosemary lavosh, or ‘roaring forties’ lamb rump with new season onion soubise, preserved carrots and carrot top chimichurri.
As for the drinks – the world is your oyster, as they say. Sparkling, Rosé, White and Red wines to suit any palate and a selection of beer, cider, soft drinks, juices and anything else you could possibly think of.
Merricks General Wine Store is at 3460 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks – a great drive only 1h 20m from Melbourne CBD.