Sunhands: Carlton’s Corner of Comfort and Community

Drink, Eat, Melbourne / 5 May 2023

Discover a delightful all-day dining experience at Sunhands, a fresh new venture from the creators of Heartattack and Vine.

The charming corner at 169 Elgin Street in Carlton, known for sun-soaked dining and weekend breakfast queues, has been transformed by the experienced hospitality team behind Lygon Street favorite, Heartattack and Vine. The former IMA Project Cafe has been reinvented as Sunhands, a versatile neighbourhood space that serves as a cafe, deli, wine bar, and general store.

Focusing on seasonal offerings, Sunhands champions local makers, growers, and producers from Victoria and beyond. The co-owners, Ishella Butler, Matt Roberts, and Nathen Doyle, were inspired by their experience supporting local suppliers during the pandemic. Their new venture is dedicated to the Carlton community, showcasing exceptional food, wine, and local produce.

Sunhands is designed as a welcoming gathering place for locals and visitors alike. The venue offers something for everyone, from homemade pickles and kraut to seasonal salads for a quick lunch. The cozy spot is perfect for indulging in a glass of wine and a delicious meal or simply enjoying the outdoors with friends.

Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm, with late-night dining coming soon, Sunhands presents a produce-driven menu with small plates crafted by Head Chef Pat Drapac. The menu includes Akimbo country sourdough, house pickled octopus, baked ricotta, and more. All seafood is sourced sustainably from Two Hands, while other local suppliers like Day’s Walk Farm, Long Paddock Cheese, and Sporadical City Mushrooms are also featured. Vegetarian and vegan options are available, along with homemade, small-batch products for takeaway.

The wine program at Sunhands, curated by Nathen Doyle, highlights the stories of local producers and makers. The selection features Victorian winemakers, such as Mine en Place, Blood Moon Wines, and Beyond the Glass, with a rotating lineup of local offerings. The venue’s neutral design by Toby Hudson Carpentry and Sans-Arc Studio allows the focus to remain on the exceptional produce and makers that inspired Sunhands.

Currently open as a daytime venue, Sunhands plans to introduce late-night drinking and a seasonal dinner menu later this autumn. Drop by this Melbourne gem at 169 Elgin Street, Carlton 3053, or visit their website at and follow them on Instagram @sunhands.sunhands for updates and more information.


Photography by Nicholas Wilkins