Are you a fan of coffee, Back to the Future and Harrison Ford? Silly question, according to Christian Maltby. “Who isn’t?” he says.
Hence Doc Brown. The former owner of Woolloongabba’s Brown Dog Cafe, Maltby’s new space sits on the ground floor of the Escent development in a West End backstreet. The space itself – designed by Amanda Harris (Nantucket, Phuc Deli-Viet) – is sleek and tiled, with mint and timber details.
Its real character shines through, though, in framed film posters on the walls and a mural by local artist Ry No depicting a man floating in space next to bacon, strawberries and eggs. Maltby’s own hoverboard sits on top of the cake cabinet. “Basically I had the hoverboard, and I built the cabinet around the hoverboard,” he says, laughing. “It’s been there the whole time, we made the construction work around it.”
The Back to the Future inspiration comes from Maltby’s own studies as an aspiring young filmmaker. Now he’s translated it into a space where he tastefully shares the interest alongside coffee by Genovese and a concise but imaginative food menu.
A kimchi toastie (Kim Cheese) is already a popular option. Elsewhere, the granola smoothie is designed for Brisbane’s warm summer mornings and The Brexican – scrambled eggs, black beans, tortilla, avocado and jalapeno sauce – when you’re up for something more filling. Coming soon are smoothies, cold brew and kombucha on tap.
The space itself will be filled out with a communal table and alfresco seating. In the meantime, pushbikes lean outside and already many customers are greeted by their first name. “It’s an old line, but trying to create somewhere where everyone knows you,” Maltby says. “I really just want to make everyone happy, basically.”