In 2016, an old vacant milk bar in West Footscray was revived as Dumbo, a bustling brunch and specialty coffee space.

Company Director and Owner Raju Ghimire and General Manager of Dumbo Darcy Thornycroft have worked hard over the past six years to bring the venue back to life, and say it’s  only gotten busier over time.

“Since 2020, we’ve doubled our trade. I think people have kept coming because of the quality of the product we put to table, which is obviously the food, but also the coffee,” Darcy says.

Dumbo collaborates with Locale Coffee Roasters to provide a variety of interesting, high-grade coffee offerings. This includes a Reserve Menu, which offers a limited range of three Locale single origin reserves, individually preserved, portioned, and served as a double espresso. Dumbo also offers Locale’s Eco Warrior as its house blend, which has notes of milk chocolate, spice, and raisins.

Darcy says Dumbo has a “ridiculously close relationship” with Locale’s Victorian Relationship Manager Julijan Markovic. “I want to emphasise how much Jules has embraced us and looks after us,” he says. “We work with Locale because we needed a roaster that could offer us not only top-notch quality, but also someone to support us and make us better every day.”

Darcy believes a further reason for Dumbo’s success is its multicultural menu, thoughtfully designed by Executive Chef Sam Terranova. “It’s got a lot of variety if you’re after a different kind of experience,” Darcy says. “There’s Japanese, English, Filipino, and Egyptian dishes,” he says. His favourite dish, Ful Medames, is a braised Egyptian-style beans dish with hummus, poached egg, onion, dukkah, and bazlama soft bread. “Sam’s food is comfortable, tasty, and often simple, but I think that gives wonderful results,” Darcy says.

Alongside considered coffee and food selections, there is also a mutually welcoming relationship between Dumbo’s team and the inner-west community it serves. “The area is so multicultural and accepting,” Darcy says. “I think why Dumbo has been accepted with open arms is because of the acceptance on our end as well,” he explains, referencing Dumbo’s warm customer interactions and diverse crew and menu. “It feels like a little family that we’ve grown in the west.”


11 Argyle Street, West Footscray, Victoria, 3012

Open Monday ­­to Sunday 7:00am – 3:00pm

This article appears in the October 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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