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These Stellar Melbourne Venues Are Giving Back to the Hospitality Community During Lockdown

Free feeds for locals doing it tough, no questions asked.
By Libby Curran
June 07, 2021
By Libby Curran
June 07, 2021

Melbourne's latest snap lockdown has hit the city's hospitality scene hard, with venues forced to close their doors and rely entirely on takeaway and delivery trade for at least two weeks. That's seen a drop in income for a huge number of employees across the state, as the hours and shifts used to pay for essential bills are cut.

But, if Melbourne's hospitality scene is anything—it's resilient, even when its people wish they didn't have to be. In an entirely Melbourne show of solidarity, some of the city's most loved eateries are throwing their support behind the hospitality community by giving back to those that have been hit by the lockdown the hardest. If you're a worker who's been impacted by lockdown, here's where to find a helping hand and a hot feed, no questions asked.


Under metro Melbourne's current lockdown rules, you're required to stay within 10 kilometres of home, including when shopping for necessary goods and services. For more details on what's allowed during lockdown, head to the DHHS website.


Chin Chin Melbourne

Tonight (Monday, June 7), Southside pub The Wolf Windsor is lending a helping hand by hosting a hospo parma night. If you're in hospitality and have been impacted by the lockdown, head along from 5pm — the kitchen's shouting 50 free parmas, while the bar's offering $12 growler beer fills.

The San Telmo Group has teamed up with software company Impos to offer 1000 free hospitality meals from June 7–10. Any industry staff who are doing it tough this lockdown can register their interest here to pick up a complimentary take-home meal from Southbank restaurant Asado, available from 2–6pm each day. Vegans and vegetarians are catered for, too.

Until Thursday, June 10, the Lucas Group is handing out 500 free hospitality meals each day across three of its popular Melbourne venues. If you've been stood down or had your job affected as a result of the current lockdown, swing past Chin Chin or Hawker Hall from 3–5pm to enjoy a serve of butter chicken or vegetable curry, on the house. There are also free plates of rigatoni available from sibling Baby Pizza during the same time window.

Kate Shanasy

Last week, the good folks at Good Gnocchi ran a free vegan-friendly spaghetti day for hard-hit hospitality pals, dishing out a swag of cook-at-home pasta and sauce packs to those in need. And it's happening again this Wednesday, June 9, with pick-up available from noon. Mates at Maria's Pasta have donated 60 kilograms of egg-free spaghetti to the cause and there'll be over 500 serves flying out the door.

Richmond cafe Mayday is serving up some lockdown support in the form of a special 2-for-1 menu, available until June 10. Choose from takeaway creations like a croque madame, a salmon bagel and a scotch fillet steak sanga — order one and you'll score a second dish for free until Friday, June 11.

Wine retailer The Local Drop is putting together a bunch of fresh produce boxes available for free every weekday for those having a rough go of it — order by shooting a text to 0431611474. And if you're in a position to help out, you can pay it forward by donating money towards a box for someone else.

St Kilda Italian spot Barkly's Kitchen is delivering free feeds to locals stuck in isolation without access to regular food. The initiative's servicing addresses within three kilometres of the restaurant — order before 2pm for delivery between 4–6pm that day.

Celebrated chef-restaurateur Jessi Singh is serving up a stack of free meals for anyone who's lost income as a result of the lockdown, from both Mr Brownie and Horn Please. Check out his Instagram for more details.

Neighbourhood wine bar Theodore's is hosting another of its free community meals, available for pick up from 5–6pm this Wednesday, June 9. Head along to grab a feed if this lockdown's left you in a lurch.

And on Tuesday, June 8, Brunswick's Viet-inspired restaurant Shop Bao Ngoc is whipping up a traditional hot pot feast, available for pick up (4–7pm) and delivery (5–8pm). It'll be $20 per serve, with 20 percent of profits going to a community COVID-19 relief fund. But if lockdown's giving you a tough time, shoot them a DM to organise a feed on the house.


Top image: Asado

Published on June 07, 2021 by Libby Curran

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