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Open Today: Sunhands Is Carlton's New Cafe, Wine Bar and Deli from the Heartattack and Vine Crew

A sunny corner spot with a fiercely local focus.
By Libby Curran
March 21, 2023
By Libby Curran
March 21, 2023

Lygon Street's Heartattack and Vine has become a firm favourite of Carlton's ever-evolving food scene, equally adored for its lunchtime sangas as for its cicchetti (Venetian-style snacks) and Euro-accented drinks offering. And now, the team behind it have unleashed another certain winner on this inner-city locale, today unveiling new venue Sunhands.

Gracing the nearby corner site once home to IMA Project Cafe, this one takes the form of a cafe, wine bar, deli and grocer all rolled into one. It builds on the strong sense of support for local businesses and suppliers that co-owners Ishella Butler, Matt Roberts and Nathen Doyle honed while steering Heartattack and Vine through the pandemic.

To that end, Sunhands promises to be not just a laidback local's haunt, but a staunch champion of local goodness; from the ingredients showcased through the menu to the products on the shelves. You'll even find commissioned artwork by Poppy Templeton (aka Duck Ragu) and many pieces by Melbourne ceramicist Kelly Grenhalgh featured throughout the venue.

Currently open from 10am–3pm with plans to expand into a dinner service later in autumn, it's a relaxed spot for brunching, snacking and everything in between. A fuss-free fitout by Toby Hudson Carpentry and Sans-Arc works to keep the spotlight on the produce, while creating a light-filled space you'll be more than happy to settle into.

Head Chef Pat Drapac (Bar Romantica, Old Palm Liquor) is behind the produce-driven menu, peppered with offerings from the likes of Day's Walk Farm, Chasney Estate, sustainable seafood supplier Two Hands and the ferment pioneers at Hobart's Rough Rice.

It's an oft-changing lineup that might see you starting your day with a dippy egg and sourdough soldiers, or the loaded breakfast platter, while lunchbreakers will be lured by the daily range of salads and deli-style sandwiches.

There's a rotating curation of cheese and charcuterie; drink-friendly snacks such as pickled octopus, baked ricotta and oysters with a mignonette; and an Afternoon Plate piled high with house pickles, ferments, bread and various goodies from the deli fridge.

Of course, the same local love spreads throughout the drinks list, with a changing selection of vino to hero drops from the likes of Mise en Place, Patrick Sullivan, Jumping Juice and Doyle's own label, Upside Wine. Sit in over a glass or two, or grab a bottle for home.

There's also coffee courtesy of Wide Open Road, a handful of considered non-alcoholic sips and a tidy crop of classic cocktails rounding out the fun.

Find Sunhands at 169 Elgin Street, Carlton. It's currently open from 10am–3pm Tuesday to Sunday, with hours to be extended shortly.

Images: Nicholas Wilkins

Published on March 21, 2023 by Libby Curran
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