When one of the founders of Footscray’s newest (and only) dedicated burger shop, 8bit, piped up that it would be, “Awesome to have games in the place”, the concept kind of ran away from them.
The bustling shop features pixelated mosaic tiling, bold, primary colours and dishes named after the group’s favourite classic video games. It is the brainchild of chef Shayne McCallum and Alan Sam (both of Captain Melville) and Sam’s high-school mate, Long Tran. 8bit is a nostalgic ode to the neighbourhood fish ‘n’ chip shop, with arcade machines – as well as the video games of their youth – squeezed into the corners.
In addition to burgers made with beef, fried chicken and crumbed mushroom, the kitchen serves all manner of classic artery-cloggers: fries, shakes, dogs, tater tots and soft-serve. And yes, there’s an arcade machine with, “Like, 500 games on it,” according to McCallum.
The facade of 8bit is a sign of the times; the old, Vietnamese lettering is peeling away and 8bit’s patterned burger logo is freshly pasted over the top. The venue is a first for the suburb that is already blessed with its share of cheap-and-cheerful food.
“We hope that all the people from Hoppers Crossing to Seddon will come and enjoy having burgers here,” he says. Down the track, there are plans to draw more customers in with a range of canned beers and soft drinks – another nod to fish ‘n’ chip shops – such as Dr. Pepper, Mountain Goat and American craft producer Sierra Nevada. “The area's growing,” says McCallum. "It's a little bit untapped still, I think.”
8 Droop Street, Footscray
(03) 9687 8838
Tue to Sun 11am–11pm