Meet Milo Parkin of Barrel & Roast in Camberwell Junction
Article posted: April 17, 2023
A converted warehouse with a loft-apartment style and an eclectic hospitality offering is bringing the bohemian back to Camberwell Junction.
Barrel & Roast’s setting may have a New York vibe, but the food is Italian with Argentinian influences.
Adding to the offbeat character, you can grab a coffee in the morning and in the evening you can sip a Negroni while enjoying live music.
Barrel & Roast co-owner Milo Parkin is rightly proud of this venue which has what he calls “an in-house ethos”.
“And we now have our wonderful chef Luca Almiron from Patagonia and Argentina, who brings authentic Argentinian street food (to the menu).”
Situated next to Camberwell Station, the venue isn’t on the main drag but Mr Parkin said they have created a destination venue, with patrons eagerly seeking it out each week.
Barrel & Roast was born of the dream of two neighbours who loved to create cocktails.
Milo Parkin and Chris Larkin used to meet up on Wednesday evenings to create, try and “scheme about” cocktails.
“We used to say that someday that passion should become a business,” Mr Parkin said.
And it has.
Mr Parkin’s background in wine retail and wholesale and his “passion for all things food and drink” has led him to this exciting venture.
Returning Aussie Mark Symons has joined the men as operational manager, coming “from the highest rated wine bar in la Paz, Bolivia,” Mr Parkin said.
1961 Coffee Roasters has been roasting sustainably grown, ethically sourced green beans at the site since 2011 and The 924 Cocktail Co joined them there in 2016. Its signature 924 Negroni is a Camberwell Junction classic.
Barrel & Roast opens every day for breakfast and lunch, and from Thursday to Saturday for shared or plated dining.
A venue for all
Barrel & Roast offers regular live music evenings, including their renowned Negroni Nights coupled with jazz, blues and western swing.
Mr Parkin said the live music nights are growing in popularity, attracting a wide age group and type of people.
“That’s what we want at Barrel & Roast,” he said.
“This is a come-as-you-are, easy, welcoming place.”
The relaxed furnishings at Barrel & Roast respect the warehouse the building once was and gives it the loft apartment look.
The sofas work perfectly for a relaxed morning cuppa as well as a cosy Negroni nightcap. There is also barstool seating and casual dining settings.
The look is the result of a multi-suburb hunt for the right pieces.
“I drive around picking up bits of furniture that I thought would be right for the place but my friend Nicole who owned a giftware store has a great design eye and she nailed the look,” Mr Parkin said.
Camberwell chic is back
Mr Parkin believes businesses like Barrel & Roast are slowly returning to Camberwell Junction, “dispelling its unfair staid image”.
“Good looking venues and interesting stores are returning and putting Camberwell back on the map as an interesting and vibrant suburb.
“The more, the better. There’s room for everyone.”
He said the return of a love of supporting local is also a boost for businesses and is helping revive suburbs.
With the Buenos Aries chef adding Argentinian flair and flavour to Italian-at-heart evening dining, complementing the already popular Naples wood-fired pizzas, Barrel & Roast is a Camberwell Junction eatery to remember.
To keep things lively, they’ve added outdoor Argentinian barbecues to the mix.
“That enticing smell will drift across the market, and who will be able to resist?” Mr Parkin joked.
It’s all part of the three men’s passion project to have a destination venue that a wide variety of people want to come to and return to.
“Providing great reasons to come – that’s what we are always striving to achieve,” Mr Parkin said.