Just beyond the bustle of Bridport Street in Albert Park, and only a couple of blocks from the beach, is new cafe The Petty Officer. The brainchild of Axil Coffee owners Dave and Zoe Makin, Adam Mariani and Matthew Lewin, The Petty Officer is the suburb’s first new-wave café offering specialty coffee and a tasty breakfast and lunch menu to boot.

Lewin, an Albert Park local, stumbled upon the restored Victorian building and immediately saw its potential. The Axil team got together and decided that the north-facing, light-filled space (which had been operating as a fine dining restaurant in its previous life) would make a great cafe. Mariani, an Axil staff member, will manage The Petty Officer day-to-day and is already aware of the high expectations, given the cafe’s pedigree.

Espresso coffee will be the main game, but there will be filter options available too. “We’ll be using Axil’s seasonal blend and then we’ll run a single origin, which will change every day,” says Mariani. “We’re not sure how the area’s going to take to filtered coffee, but we know they will try it. There are always people who love to venture out.”

A breakfast menu will be available all day. Think corn and zucchini fritters with a bloody Mary salsa; buttermilk pancakes with baked apple ice cream, smoked maple syrup and cheddar; an avocado smash; and classic baked eggs. For lunch, soft baguettes can be filled with pulled pork, beef short ribs or lamb shoulder. There’s also a Wagyu beef burger, semolina-dusted calamari, a grain salad and house-crumbed chicken schnitzel.

Head chef Dan Woollard (of Il Solito Posto and more recently Calamari Inc.) will make everything bar the bread onsite. And as soon as the liquor license comes through, there will be a couple of reds and whites to choose from as well as a local beer or two and cider from Kelly Brothers.

The Petty Officer, which takes its name from a navy rank, is set to reinvigorate what is a rather sleepy corner of Albert Park. We’re convinced that this beachside cafe will be a great summer brunch spot.

The Petty Officer
113 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park
(03) 9686 3000

Daily 7am to 4pm