WHEN the state border slammed shut a year ago Matthieu and Erica Miller could no longer get to their commercial kitchen.
The Rutherglen couple, who were effectively cut off from Albury, were lucky to find a temporary home for their catering company Milkin Kitchen in the Rutherglen Bowling Club.
They were instantly buoyed by the community support for their take-home, chef-made meals.
On Friday night the Millers opened their first restaurant, Grace by Milkin Kitchen, on Main Street, a week later than planned owing to the snap lockdown.
Ms Miller said it was a complete turnaround.
"We went from losing access to our kitchen and having a mortgage and three kids under six to having phenomenal support for our take-home food and selling out every week," Ms Miller said.
Grace by Milkin Kitchen is a tribute to Matthieu's late grandmother, Grace, "a CWA trifle queen" who even did a stint at the Star Hotel Rutherglen in her youth.
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Ms Miller said Grace was a European-style restaurant and canteen; the latter offering their take-home meals, deli and pantry items.
"We have local whisky, rum and gin," she said.
"The wine list represents all of our nearest and dearest friends and the menu is inspired by local producers."
Grace is located in premises formerly occupied by iconic eatery, Beaumont's Cafe, which was run by Peter and Birgit Weir.
Grace by Milkin Kitchen will open for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Friday and Saturday, 8am until late, and breakfast and lunch, Sunday to Tuesday, 8am to 3.30pm.
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