Sarah Ryan and Damien Shaw
Owners, Bad Love Club
Footscray is changing fast. City skyscrapers loom nearby and hoardings for developments are a regular sight. No two people are more aware of that than
Sarah and Damien. “It’s inevitable really,” says Sarah. “There are people who don’t want Footscray to change because they love it as it is, but you can’t expect an area that’s 10 minutes from the city to not change.”
“It’s a wonder it hasn’t happened sooner really,” adds Damien, who’s a lifelong resident of the western suburbs and has lived in Footscray for years. “It’s super diverse and a bit of everything rolled into one. It’s like nowhere else in the world I’ve come across.” When at a careers crossroads, it was only natural the duo would choose the neighbourhood to launch their own business. They wanted to do something different and, 10 months ago, Bad Love Club was born. It’s a quick-serve cafe for jaffles and coffee during the day and a bar serving cocktails, craft beer and baked goods — all Sarah’s handiwork — at night.
“We just wanted to be our own bosses and have a bit of creative freedom,” says Damien.
When you jump off the Lilydale, Belgrave or Alamein train, start the day at airy Bawa Cafe, with its sweet and savoury offerings. Who could resist upside-down pineapple hotcakes? At nearby Hawthorn Arts Centre, the gallery presents impressive exhibitions featuring contemporary artists. Stroll along Burwood Road taking in the shops and, when it’s time for lunch, take a seat at
St Cloud Eating House. At the industrial-style space, tuck in to modern Vietnamese dishes. At midday, the vermicelli bowls are firm favourites. bawacafe.com hawthornartscentre.com.au stcloudeatinghouse.com.au
When you get off the Lilydale or Belgrave trains at Box Hill, you’ll be in food heaven, surrounded by Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants. Tien Dat is an excellent choice for warming bowls of pho noodle soup, while Dumpling King has great Szechuan-style won tons, spring onion pancakes and more. tiendat.com.au dumplingking.com.au
This cute and peaceful bayside suburb just south of St Kilda (Ripponlea train station is close by) is a great spot to relax. Take a dip or stretch out on the sand at Elwood Beach. You could even grab some lunch from Saintly Burger to have while you take in the view.
Tatanja Ross (On Jackson Street)
Bad Love Club Sensory Lab
Tien Dat, Box HillDid You Know...The world’s entire supply of Vegemite is made in Port Melbourne on a street that was renamed VegemiteWay in 2016?
Bad Love Club, Footscray
Footscray Community Arts Centre