Apollo Cafe goes from strength to strength
Apollo Cafe has been a highlight of West Melbourne since it opened in 2017, and now, under new management, it is reaching a whole new level of fame.
Nestled within the architectural landmark of The Mighty Apollo building, the cafe has been a constant for its modern Australian all-day menu and good coffee.
Originally opened by Russell and Cassie Spear, Apollo Cafe changed hands in February this year and is now under the ownership of Cam Walshe, Pollyanna Maulio, Johnny Quattro, and Tanase Adu.
As a West Melbourne resident and employee of another local business, Mr Walshe knows the café well, having been a regular customer prior to taking ownership.
While the new owners are keen to see Apollo Cafe continue to grow and reach more people, he said it had never been the new owners’ plan to “come in and make big, massive changes”.
“I think they [the previous owners] did lots of really good things. It’s a great place, the building is sensational, the plants are beautiful, the culture of the staff was really great, and so I liked it as my local cafe,” Mr Walshe said.
“There would have been a big risk if we came in and made these massive changes and turned everything upside down for the staff, so we have been very deliberate in making small changes gradually and that’s what we will continue to do.”
For anyone who has come to rely on Apollo Cafe for great food and a positive vibe, the cafe still operates under the same chef and front-of-house manager, as well as many of the same staff.
However, it has made some changes to its opening hours, now throwing open its doors for service on weekends.
It will also host a special Whisky and Food pairing event on July 8, which Mr Walshe expects to be the first of many new plans for future special evenings at Apollo Café.
“Our vision is for Apollo Cafe to be the place to come to in West Melbourne, and we are really grateful for the support the cafe has received over the past five years, and the additional support we have had in the last three to four months,” Mr Walshe said.
Everyone has been overwhelmingly supportive of what we are trying to do here.
While it’s already a cornerstone of the West Melbourne community, the cafe has also recently had its moment in the limelight thanks to an Australian romantic comedy film using its premises as a set.
Filming took place on June 13 and 14, and the excitement was not lost on the Apollo Cafe team with some members even getting to be on set. In addition to the main character of the film sitting within the cafe, Mr Walshe said the Apollo Café name would be included on the menus made specifically for the film.
“It’s not like they have gone and created a new name or city, but rather, it will be the Apollo Cafe in West Melbourne [on screen], so that’s really exciting,” he said.
The essential move-in of the film industry has also meant surrounding businesses have been able to benefit from the influx of actors, extras, and film crew.
“I always say, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’, and it’s great to have filming in our local community and have it benefiting us all; plus, it is creating a bit of excitement and a good vibe,” he added.
Apollo Cafe can be found at 109-111 Hawke St, and is open from Monday to Friday, 6.30am to 2pm, and Saturday and Sunday (including public holidays) from 8am to 3pm. •
For more information: apollocafe.com.au