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June 20, 2024

A new café is coming to Henley Square

The duo behind Alimentary Eatery and The Alchemists' Kitchen are bringing pizzas and brunch to the beach.

  • Words and pictures: Claudia Dichiera
  • From L—R: Deeb Milky and Andrea Aranibar-Milky

A beachside locale has always been the first preference for Andrea Aranibar-Milky and Deeb Milky.

The pair opened Brighton Jetty Road café Alimentary Eatery in 2018, then The Alchemists’ Kitchen just down the road in 2021.


251 Seaview Road, Henley Beach 5022

Opening mid-August


In mid-August, the pair will open their third hospitality venture, Santi’s, in Henley Square after a landlord fortunately fumbled on a space with “a lot of potential”.

“We didn’t even try to find it at all. I didn’t even think we wanted a third venue at this point. It just kind of happened,” Andrea laughs.

“[The landlord and I] had been in contact for a couple of years and he always offers me venues and I’m like ‘Oh, nah, that’s not really suited for what I want’. So I said ‘I want a place in Henley’,” Deeb continues.

“Although we did not want a third venue, we’re like [let’s] roll the dice. So we rolled the dice and it found us, we didn’t really find it.”

One of the outdoor courtyards


Andrea and Deeb were attracted to the area as it shares similar qualities to their comfortable Brighton spaces like relying on regular locals. As Henley is also beachside, Andrea and Deeb have particular tactics in play to combat the seasonality.

“For me, I don’t try and work on my summer trade. I’m trying to work on my winter trade because that’s your weak spot essentially,” Deeb says.

“So you just budget for your winter trade, you put some money aside to get through and then it’s just combatting the seasonality. It is what it is.

“Being a beachside location, you expect it and you plan for it in your head already, and plus it’s what you choose.”

Santi’s WIP


As Santi’s is located between Bottega Gelateria and Zambrero, the pair know they will “need a point of difference” to stand out among the long lines with fear of people “[not being able to] see the shop”.

“It’s situated in a spot where there’s a lot of high foot traffic and the footpath’s very narrow, as well as being a busy area. So I wanted to figure out a way on how to make it most effective for the strip — so it’s going to be a dual concept of takeaway and dine in,” Deeb says.

“The first bit of the shop, we’re going to cut it out and recess that back into the venue where people can walk in, grab what they need to grab, and walk out instead of blocking up the footpath.

“We’re going to have a little coffee window [and] snack window and then on the opposite side, they’re going to walk in and have an à la carte menu as well.”

Outside the window will be takeaway “gourmet” pizzas on fresh focaccia bread along with coffee and juices.

“It’s called pizza al taglio. It’s square, called pizza by the slice, baked in a deck oven,” Deeb says.

“We’re going to be using not just Italian flavours, but everything. So I’m Middle Eastern, Andrea’s South American, so we’ll probably infuse some of those flavours into the dishes as well as Italian.

“My theory behind it was the next evolution of the sando. You’ve got the sando where everything’s in the middle, but we’re going to take off the top of that.”

Although the breakfast menu — that will be served as a sit-down option inside — hasn’t been finalised, Deeb admits “it’s hard to reinvent the wheel with brunch”.

“People like what they like,” he says. “My theory with brunch is people don’t want to try anything too different. When they first wake up in the morning, they want their brekky staples that they feel comfortable eating.

“So we’ll probably hit the staples with a twist in how we make them [like] what kind of bread we use.”

The interiors will be emerald green and lilac, with timber floors that will be fun, light and vibrant with two outdoor courtyards.

To keep up the fun, the pair have created a fictional universe throughout their three hospitality ventures.

“We created a fictional character and we made a nickname — so Santi’s,” Andrea says.

“So our second venue is called The Alchemists’ Kitchen. It’s loosely based on a book called The Alchemist and the main character from that book is Santiago.

“We thought we have Alimentary Eatery and The Alchemists’ Kitchen, and the baby of those two venues is Santi’s. That’s our third child.”

Santi’s is slated to open in mid-August, and is located at 251 Seaview Road, Henley Beach.

Connect with the business on Instagram for more.

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