Café Dumbo

Argyle Street, West Footscray

Before
Before
After
After
After

This café project is all about rejuvenating the old, but still paying respect and homage to its old heritage in an obscure location hidden within the quiet residential street. The site, just like the suburb where it is located, is slowly being gentrified from its working-class residents to a more youthful and hip new residents who are looking for an affordable place to call home while still being close to the city.

Acronym plays an important part in this project. Firstly, there is the name, which is a nod to DUMBO, a tiny, fashionable New York neighbourhood named for its location Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Fittingly the cafe is in a suburb with its own attempt at an acronym (albeit less catchy): WeFo For West Footscray.

There is a strong sense of sustainability approach to this project. All of the existing building materials from the former milk bar it occupies are being reused whenever they can, and the café operator 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.