After moving from Daylesford to Melbourne, Liam Thornycroft and his partner Dan Condon found a former milk bar left unused for more than 20 years in West Footscray.
The name of the cafe they opened in its place in August isn’t a reference to the cartoon baby elephant. It’s a nod to DUMBO, a tiny, fashionable New York neighbourhood named for its location Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.
“It’s all warehouses and very hipster, and at the same time full of little studios in factories, kooky little cafes and bars, and an amazing food market – things you don’t see anywhere else in America,” he says.
Fittingly the cafe has opened in a suburb with its own attempt at an acronym (albeit less catchy): WeFo.
Referencing the building’s heritage, Dumbo not only serves brunch and coffee but bread, milk, fresh flowers and old-school treats such as coconut ice.
Chef Ray Le (formerly of Common Galaxia) heads the kitchen, and is making friends with his ricotta doughnuts served with banana, custard and rhubarb.
Pastries are from Seddon’s Sourdough Kitchen and coffee is by local roaster Rosso Roasting Co.
The team provides neighbouring West Footscray Primary School with compost in the form of food scraps and coffee grounds. In exchange it uses the school’s car park on weekends.
If you can’t get a seat there’s always the takeaway window where you can opt for one of the $10 lunchbox options that change weekly.
Monthly themed dinners could also be on the cards, but you’ll have to stay tuned for that.
11 Argyle Street, West Footscray
(03) 9078 2645
Mon to Fri 7.30am–4pm
Sat & Sun 8am–4pm