Between Coin Laundry, Phillippa’s and even the lavish, just-opened butcher and bar by big Sydney name Victor Churchill, plenty of food and drink choices surround Armadale station. Now a newcomer has taken up residence in an old Victorian-era building on Morey Street, behind the heritage-listed Kings Arcade.

The romance doesn’t stop there, though. Everything about the old-timey Albert’s – from inspiration and namesake to the shopfront’s glossy green tiles – is a nod to the suburb’s heritage. The quaint cafe by day, cosy wine bar by night (from this Friday) is named after painter Albert Tucker who left a mark, quite literally, on the nearby arcade.

The trio behind Albert’s brings years of local and international hospo experience to the neighbourhood spot: Toby Koffman, and siblings Doug Milledge and Alice Freer. And despite – or maybe because of – its opening in lockdown, it’s fast becoming a local favourite.

During the day, chef Ruby Haupt is turning out handheld creations such as New York-style Reubens and smoked-salmon bagels with pickled-onion-and-herb schmear, plus rotating daily salads. And she does some in-house baking, which might result in sweets such as cherry-walnut cake, nutmeg custard tarts and brown-butter choc-chip cookies. They’re served alongside coffee from Braeside roaster God’s Honest Truth.

As the afternoon rolls on, the wine-bar side of things will kick in. Your emerald-green-marble table will likely be topped with oysters with fennel-and-shallot mignonette; Cuca anchovies with salsa verde; buffalo mozzarella with eggplant caponata; and other fancy cheeses and charcuterie. It’s “a bit of a taste of things to come”, says Milledge, who plans to expand the offering in the new year.

The same goes for the tight but interesting wine list, which will grow over time. Expect progressive, new-world drops and traditional favourites; right now Milledge is excited by boutique Strathbogie Ranges winemaker Matt Froude, whose label Municipal Wines “punches way above its weight” with a bright, slightly savoury tempranillo. The team will also be shaking classic cocktails, including Margaritas and Martinis.

17 Morey Street, Armadale

Tue to Thu 7am–2pm
Fri to Sun 7am–10pm