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Lygon Street's Hellenic Republic Will Become Crofter Dining Room & Bar in the New Year

Pope Joan chef Matt Wilkinson will be taking over the venue, giving it a new name and British-Australian menu.
By Libby Curran
November 26, 2019
By Libby Curran
November 26, 2019

The decade-old Brunswick East outpost of George Calombaris's Hellenic Republic will be calling it a day this December. But the building won't be empty for long — it's swapping Greek fare for a modern Australian offering with a distinct British edge. Opening in the space from mid-January next year will be Crofter Dining Room & Bar, a new venture from renowned Pope Joan chef-owner Matt Wilkinson in collaboration with Calombaris' Made Establishment (Gazi, Elektra).

The new year will mark Wilkinson's 20th in Australia, following his first two decades in his homeland of Britain, and this new nighttime venture will draw from the flavours and influences from both regions. We're told to expect contemporary Australian sensibilities, spiked with a healthy dose of UK nostalgia.

If you used to frequent Pope Joan, you'll know to expect Wilkinson's sustainable, waste-free practices, and a menu that heroes plant-based fare and generous shared plates.

Chef Matt Wilkinson

Meanwhile, Crofter's Brunswick East site is the second Hellenic Republic outpost to be transformed, with Hellenic Hotel Williamstown already making the transition to its new life as bar, grill and cellar, Hotel Argentina. Hellenic Republic Brighton is the only restaurant in the family to remain as is.

While you wait for the 2020 opening, you can get your Wilkinson fix at Pope Joan, located underneath the Sofitel on Collins Street. The CBD venue is the latest incarnation of the chef's legendary northside cafe Pope Joan, which closed its original outpost in mid-2018.

Crofter Dining Room & Bar is slated to open at 434 Lygon Street, Brunswick East in January, 2020. Hellenic Republic Brunswick will hold its final service on Tuesday, December 31.

Published on November 26, 2019 by Libby Curran
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