It’s a hell of a concept when you get it down on paper. A boozy Footscray bakery, jaffle bar and coffee house, with cocktails running till 1am. We’re struggling to think of anywhere else in Melbourne doing something even comparable. You’ll get it as soon as you push through the big glass doors: Bad Love Club is one of a kind.
The story goes like this. Hospo power-couple Sarah Ryan and Damien Shaw were at a crossroads. They were either going to use their savings to buy a house, or open a bricks and mortar business. With Melbourne’s house prices being what they are (especially in Shaw’s beloved West), Bad Love Club was the result.
It’s a cute venue, decked out in bold colour blocks and funky geometric patterns, inspired by Ryan and Shaw’s travels through Joshua Tree, California.
“We wanted somewhere that just felt like home to us,” Ryan says. “Where we could just chat to people and hang out. We’re here so often, it had to be comfortable.”
Bad Love Club opens at a sprightly 6am, slinging old-school jaffles, both sweet and savoury. You can’t really go wrong with The Big Cheese (an oozey mix of Monterey Jack, American red cheddar and spring onion), but there are ‘seasonal’ rotating jaffles too, including a ‘Fleetwood Mac and Cheese’ (pretty self explanatory) and the Frankie (baked meatballs and marinara sauce in a GARLIC BREAD JAFFLE). Good lord is it delicious.
By night, the place morphs, and out come the desserts (and the booze). Ryan’s family are bakers by trade, and a lot of her childhood recipes have made it on to the ornate glass cake stands. The pecan pie is a popular choice, but if you can, get your greedy mitts on a slice, try the strawberry and Prosecco cheesecake. Goes down a treat with a bottle of inky-black West City Brewing stout.
Shaw and Ryan almost opened this concept store in Sassafras instead (before deciding the ‘Nongs weren’t quite ready). We’re betting Footscray is mighty relieved they didn’t.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White