347 Reynard Street, Pascoe Vale South c/o We are Humble PTY. LTD.

A John & George Khoury


Emil's —

Emil Khoury and his family have been the custodians of this Reynard St milk bar since 1978. For decades, Emil was a constant presence behind the counter every day. Though he may no longer serve behind the counter, Emil is still a prominent presence at the Milk Bar, now transformed into a bustling neighbourhood cafe that bears his name. Sporting his "Emil's" t-shirt, Emil proudly watches on as his sons, George and John Khoury, welcome patrons with warm smiles, smooth espressos, and big brekkies.

This transformation was a passion project for the Khoury brothers. Collaborating closely, we endeavoured to realise their vision, turning the building that once housed both their family and their milk bar into a vibrant cafe. The challenge was to incorporate a commercial kitchen and cafe into a residential structure, whilst retaining the spirit of the original building and ensuring a seamless blend of spaces. Our goal was to create open, communal areas while preserving the building's homely essence. We employed a light touch with the renovation, maintaining as much of the original structure as possible. From the facade to the varied cornices in each room, and even the entire living room and fireplace, much of the original features were retained in an effort preserve the building's character. The former family living room has been transformed into the cafe's cozy upper dining area, now connected to the milk bar and street via a large new opening that marries the old house to the shop's front counter. patrons can enjoy their coffee perched on a leaner overlooking the street and the action in the espresso bar. The western facade features a new takeaway window for street-side service, and a prominent picture window offers expansive views down Reynard Street.

We selected materials that both honour the building's rich history and inject a fresh vitality into the space. The original milk bar area, now the heart of the cafe, showcases walls stripped back to reveal historical paint layers. Suspended over the dining area is a piece of the original bedroom ceiling, repurposed from the area that is now the kitchen. Oak timber veneer and deep brown leather banquettes offer a layer of warmth to the dining areas.

The branding pays tribute to Emil and the site's legacy as a milk bar, drawing inspiration from classic milk carton designs with a deep blue palette and striking horizontal lines. This theme of horizontal banding recurs throughout the cafe, from the detailed joinery to the bold graphics adorning the facade, weaving a continuous thread that honours the past while embracing the future. We developed an illustration based on a photo included in the sales listing when Emil bought the shop in 1978, bringing the journey full circle for the team. The original photo hangs in the upper dining room, while versions of the illustration, coloured in by young patrons, adorn the wall at the cafe entry.

Builder FSCI

Photography Peter Clarke


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Emils Branding Identity

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