Father and Son, Said and Raheeb are a super duo when it comes to their cafe, The Alleyway. They both greet their customers by name, make sure that everyone is looked after and if they see them sitting alone, they go out of their way to keep them company and to make sure they feel happy and comfortable.
Said’s Son, Raheeb (otherwise known as Heeb) explained how his Father has been in the hospitality industry for over 35 years, owning 10-15 cafes, he escaped his war torn country at a young age and came to Australia and like many of our parents or grandparents with nothing to his name. He worked endless hours in order to create his own success, starting from owning a milk bar to a well established cafe.
For Heeb, however, his foray into hospitality was a little different. “As a kid, I never aspired to work in hospitality. It looked like hard-work and my Dad was never home as he would leave the house before we woke and would return just before we were in bed. So, I studied Commerce and Sports Management at University, but during my work experience stint in an office job, I realised that, like my dad, the experiences I had growing up surrounded by hospitality had inevitably stuck with me. Even though I swore I wouldn’t, i found the industry calling me back. I decided to open my own cafe and do it my way. Turns out, hospitality was my passion.” Said Heeb
Heeb took off to America after completing his studies and went in search of inspiration for the new cafe that he and his father wanted to open. The end result was a fusion of modern Melbourne and vintage America. At The Alleyway you’ll find a clean Melbourne styled fitout, with a classic Amercia twist – think vintage neon signs, buffalo wings and mac and cheese. (Can I just say, if no one was watching i would not have been so lady-like eating this meal, I guess this is where Uber Eats would come in handy!).
Heeb’s goal is to create a young vibe for the cafe and make it inviting and cool for a younger customer base. But they do have a very loyal collection of long-time customers that his Father loves chatting with and making sure they always leave happy. I saw this first-hand on my visit to The Alleyway and it was heart-warming.
Serving both espresso and filter coffee, the Alleyway has two amazing experienced Barista’s that are more than happy to whip you up a delicious cup of Veneziano Estate in milk or show off some incredible Gesha Coffee in filter. It’s definitely the go-to cafe in Heidelberg with floor to ceiling windows, an inviting fire place and, of course, the friendliest staff going around.