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Brunswick East Cafe Pope Joan Is Sadly Closing Its Doors for Good Next Month

Matt Wilkinson's neighbourhood favourite will close on June 24 to make way for an apartment development.
By Libby Curran
May 25, 2018
By Libby Curran
May 25, 2018

It's a sad day for Melbourne's cafe scene, with news yet another hospitality venture has fallen victim to the dreaded apartment development. This time, it's Brunswick East stalwart Pope Joan that's getting the boot.

After eight years of operation (and many a Pope Joan brekkie roll devoured), Matt Wilkinson's Nicholson Street gem is set to shut up for good on Sunday, June 24 to make way for a seven-storey apartment building. "Of course, I would have loved for Brunswick to have remained a village of quaint weatherboard houses and small cafes like ours, but it's just the way it goes," said the owner and chef. "It's the end of an era."

Having won over locals for close to a decade with its honest, locavore fare, Pope Joan's not going anywhere, but in style. For the final month of cafe operations, the cafe will tap into its catalogue of greatest hits, offering a menu of staff and customer favourites. Pop in for one last go at dishes like the pumpkin and haloumi tart, and the 'Kinda' Full English, loaded with bacon, sausage and Joan's legendary baked beans.

Dinner service is also getting one last hurrah, served across four Friday evenings on June 1, 8, 15 and 22. For the nighttime menu, expect yet more Wilkinson classics, from the sesame brown rice risotto with grilled Otway shiitake, to the beloved Milawa chicken kiev.

Next door sister venue The Pie Shop will remain open with Wilkinson at the helm as it's thankfully on a different land title.

Pope Joan will remain open at 77–79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East until June 24. For more info, visit

Published on May 25, 2018 by Libby Curran


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