As Melbourne’s ever-expanding specialty coffee scene spreads to the west, a number of striking cafes have sprung up in suburbs like Altona, Spotswood and Yarraville. Among them is Leroys, a small venture with a big heart, serving quality coffee and delicious fare to Newport locals every day of the week.
The Leroys story began when Wally Dabab and Jason Lay, both avid coffee drinkers, saw an opportunity for a community-focused cafe in the west. Wally’s Italian and Lebanese roots meant that coffee was always a part of family life, so it was a natural transition from builder to owner and barista, while Jason came to the project with plenty of cafe and hospitality experience.
When they first began conceptualising Leroys, Wally and Jason noticed that a stray cat frequented the property. The cat, which they endearingly named Leroy, would go on to become the cafe’s namesake, inspiring the business’ philosophy of being welcoming and friendly to all.
Extreme flooding in 2016 saw the roof collapse and extensive water damage throughout. Contrary to what you might expect, Wally and Jason welcomed this event as the perfect opportunity to give Leroys a facelift, taking inspiration from Melbourne’s love of grungy and industrial cafes.
With the help of Melbourne architecture team, Place From Space, the duo embraced natural timber tones, black steel framing, hanging pendant lights and sporadic greenery. With this design know-how and Wally’s building skills, Leroys was transformed in a matter of months.
A cutting-edge space such as Leroys necessitates a coffee that can both stand alone and be paired with food. Wally and Jason landed on Campos Coffee to supply their house blend and seasonal single origin beans. All of Campos’ coffee is fair trade and directly sourced from farmers in leading specialty coffee regions across the world.
Campos’ Superior Blend is the house blend on offer, providing flavours of sweet red fruit, caramel and chocolate. This blend is renowned for its quality and consistency of flavour and boasts a solid body and lingering mouthfeel.
There are also single origins rotating weekly, ready to be tried as cold drip, espresso or a V60 pour over. Once you’re caffeinated, opt for something a little different, such as a beetroot latte in a glorious shade of pink.
With the relaunch, the boys also enlisted the help of renowned chef, Sam Pinzone, to rethink the menu, which is skilfully executed by Head Chef, Paul Singh. Collaboratively designed, each dish is created using seasonal, local produce and has been made to match the delicious coffee on offer.
The Magic Mushrooms brings together mushrooms, roasted eschalots, a potato rosti, feta and 60-degree egg, while the OMG Pancakes are topped with whipped ricotta coffee cream, salted coffee cacao, hazelnut crumb, popping candy, fig ice cream and chocolate fairy floss.
If you see something you like, whether it be jam, flavoured salt or a cool coffee gadget, Leroys has it available to take home – talk to the boys and they’ll share their knowledge on all things food and coffee.
What Leroys lacks in apostrophes, it makes up for in quality coffee, excellent brunch fare and friendly, attentive service. An expert in all it tries its hand at, Leroys is a treasure in the heart of Melbourne’s west.