The graffiti-riddled brick building across the road from 7-Eleven on Johnston Street still looks a warehouse, but it's now home to Melbourne's newest bagelry, Mile End.
Owned and operated by Ben Vaughn and Michael Fee (Fee was Vaughn's first staff member at Melbourne University's Carte Crepes, since sold), Mile End specialises in Montreal-style bagels.
That means rolled, boiled in honeyed water and finished in Australia's only commercial wood-fired bagel oven – Canadian stonemasons had to be flown in to build it.
Bagel rolling starts at 3.30 every morning. There are four to choose from – sesame, poppy, cinnamon and raisin, and "everything" – slathered with butter, peanut butter and raspberry jam, or thick cream cheese (including a Vegemite number).
Toppings are currently limited to classic smoked salmon or rare roast beef, but a wood-fired egg and bacon bagel is just around the corner.
Studio Esteta has smoothed out the rough warehouse edges with white render and polished concrete. There's a communal table for 20, but bagels are also available to go, alongside schmears in tubs and wake-up calls from Seven Seeds, Mork Chocolate and Chai Boy.
Mile End is named after a bagel-heavy suburb in Montreal, rather than the deli of the same name in the States.
"The Mile End district just felt so similar to Fitzroy," says Vaughn. "It has that real gritty diversity and creative element."
His goal? "To really round out the whole bagel experience."
Open Tue-Sun 7.30am-4pm.
14 Johnston Street, Fitzroy, mile-end.com.au