Corner store for sale in Parkville

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By Rhonda Dredge

The Parkville Store is up for sale in Morrah St. It first opened as a grocer in 1884 and has traded as a corner store ever since.

Juliette Barr is selling the property through Nelson Alexander for more than three million dollars.

Juliette and her husband have three teenage children and need a bigger house. But she is willing to stay on as a tenant and to continue to operate the store which trades as a cafe.

“I’m open to any options,” she said. “When I walked in here I’d never run a business before. I’ll do anything.”

Where other shops in Morrah St have closed the Parkville Store has held on, prospering during the lockdown.

“Community businesses have done better post-COVID because everyone is thinking and acting local,” Juliette said.

“During COVID I was supported by the community. One customer came in and gave me a $50 note for some milk and told me to keep the change.”

There’s a low-key relaxed vibe with a casual menu focusing on home-made cakes, baguettes, toasties and a dish of the day such as quiche.

The aesthetics are old world with an advertisement for John Bull oats on the external wall offering 32 ounces of breakfast satisfaction.

You could be in Paris in an historic arrondissement. In fact, South Parkville is as well-preserved, an almost intact triangle of late Victorian houses, famed for their iron lace decoration and curious embellishments. Some scenes in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries television series were filmed nearby.

This district, adjoining Melbourne University and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, was classified in 1972 by the National Trust – Australia’s first Metropolitan Historic Area classification.

Large-scale demolition projects are prohibited to preserve the historic integrity of South Parkville and prevent unsuitable development over its entire area.

When Juliette bought the store 10 years ago it was operating as a Greek milk bar. The windows had been blocked up and the floor tiled.

She gutted the place, reinstated windows, introduced seating then 18 months ago outdoor tables.

The single-storey house at the back has three bedrooms and it was big enough when she moved in but the children have grown.

She wants to stay in this little corner of the city. “There’s a fantastic mix of people – oldies, academics, students, hospitals and a high school,” she said •

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August 3rd, 2022 - Rhonda Dredge
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