Manager Jake Ellis has never seen the Bill Cosby-created cartoon series his new cafe shares a name with, though he is aware it exists. While the choice of name is somewhat naive given the American comedian's recent sexual assault convictions, when Ellis and owner Dan Grosman were conceptualising names, Fat Albert just “felt right”.
“It came about because we’re in Albert Park, we’re off Albert Road,” says Grosman. “The building is also this weird, fat sort of shape. We first realised there was a link when the builder came in. He suggested adding some lettering to the benches that said ‘hey hey hey’. I wondered if it sounded a bit controversial but we went ahead, as we thought it was a nice kind of ‘hello’.”
The airy, pastel-hued cafe is the second for Ellis and co-owners Grosman, Simon Mostafa and Ryo Doyama. The team also owns Punchbowl Canteen, in an industrial Port Melbourne backstreet.