Back in 1942, William ‘Paddy’ Doyle, an Irish sailor in the Royal Navy, jumped ship to start a new life in Australia. Following the tradition, his grandson Wade Nicholson-Doyle joined the navy and spent the last decade as a sailor.

Having dabbled in hospitality before, Nicholson-Doyle always had it, “On the back burner,” to return to the industry. Considering he was only discharged in April, he has done quick and impressive work setting up a beautiful suburban cafe, Hello Sailor.

Eades and Bergman collaborated with Paul Grummisch's please please please to design the fit-out with beautiful results. Soft organic colours create a light, airy space. You can pull up a wooden bar stool at the long stone counter, take a table or sit by the window facing out onto Auburn Road. Little touches add warmth, such as the copper piping fitted with frosted light bulbs.

A subtle nautical theme runs throughout. The wooden planks that line the walls could be the hull of a ship. There are framed pictures of sailors, including one of Paddy during his navy days.

The menu is concise and rotates seasonally. All-day breakfast includes a bun with beef and herb sausage, fried egg, cheese, rocket and relish, or French toast with rhubarb and mascarpone as a treat. For lunch in winter, you might take the hearty slow-cooked lamb shoulder.

Coffee and tea comes via Seven Seeds and Storm in a Teacup respectively, and you can also buy loaves of Noisette bread to take home.

Hello Sailor is working on a licence to serve wine and to set up outdoor seating – including a long bench running down the side of Victoria Road – in time for summer.

Hello Sailor
89 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
(03) 9813 5560

Mon to Fri 7.00am–4pm
Sat & Sun 8am–4pm