A no messing around guide to the coolest things to eat, drink and do in Vancouver and beyond. Community. Not clickbait.

Mah Milk Bar Aims to Blend Local Community Charm with Melbourne Coffee Culture


Mah stands for “Maggie and Harry”: Maggie Campbell and Harry Swinburn | Owners of Mah Milk Bar

Mah Milk Bar is the joint effort of two cafe pros: Harry Swinburn, from Melbourne, Australia, and ‘Vancouverite’, Maggie Campbell. Since acquiring the keys to 1502 Victoria Drive (previously South China Seas Trading Co.) this past June, the duo has been working to remodel the 550-square-foot space on the corner of Victoria Drive and Grant Street into a proper neighbourhood ‘Milk Bar.’

“What’s a ‘Milk Bar’?” you ask. In Australia (where Swinburn is from, and Campbell has worked) it’s a go-to spot for daily basics, synonymous with a corner store. And that’s precisely what Mah Milk Bar hopes to become: somewhere for people to nip in to to grab milk or bread, or the eggs you ran out of halfway through making your breakfast pancakes. But the vision for Mah doesn’t stop at convenience; the deeper motivation here is to create a warm and welcoming space for the local community to congregate.

“We want to create a warm, welcoming space that offers all the conveniences of a small grocery store with the coziness of a local coffee shop,” says Campbell. “We will have fresh, high-quality espresso coffee and made-to-order breakfast and lunch options. We also want to give a platform to locally owned and produced brands and add value to the already amazing East Van community.”

Though the space is tiny, it’s still big enough to fit six indoor seats. A small North-facing patio area along Grant St. will offer up additional spots via built-in bench seating, where visitors can relax. As the duo is aiming to open in a couple of months, they’re already working on their stock selection to fill the compact store.

“We’ve dreamt about this for over five years, and now feels like the right time,” says Swinburn. “Vancouverites are starting to see the value in smaller, locally-owned businesses that help create a stronger sense of community.”

Fingers crossed for an opening day this Fall! Stay tune to the Mah Milk Bar Instagram feed here for updates.

Brendan Cairns, Harry Swinburn and Maggie Campbell | Mah Milk Bar


Mah Milk Bar
Neighbourhood: East Vancouver
1502 Victoria Dr.

There are 5 comments

  1. Yay!!! We’re only a couple of blocks away; welcome to the neighbourhood 🙂

  2. What nice news! Welcome to the neighborhood. It’s a neat spot to do what you’re planning. And I look forward to being a “regular.”

A Look Inside Lucky Taco, Opening in River District This Month

Mark Saturday, February 24th, 2024, on your calendars as their official opening date.

Time to Loosen Up Vancouver: New Cocktail Bar ‘Meo’ is Here to Help

Set to launch later this month at 265 East Pender in Vancouver's Chinatown, Meo is a new cocktail bar that marries the allure of the 1970s with modern cocktails in a rich, dark, and invitingly soft ambiance.

La Taqueria Takes New Location on West Hastings

The flagship Pinche Taco Shop (which opened doors in 2009) is getting ready to make the move three blocks west.

Merci Boulangerie Gets Ready to Open on Commercial Drive in Early 2024

If you`re a Vancouver Farmers Market regular, you're likely already familiar with the French bread and pastry outfit owned by Natalie Cumberbirch.