St Jude’s restaurant on Brunswick St closed last Saturday night. The owners are relocating their other business, Rice Queen, from its current location on Smith St to the former St Jude’s space. More recently, St Jude’s was offering a cheap bar meal and seemed to have lost their mojo.

With so much competition around, and some diners being strongly driven by novelty and the desire to try newer places like Hell of the North and Gorski and Jones, it must be hard to transition from ‘new and exciting’ to ‘established local institution’.

Most restaurants only last a few years. I’m as guilty as anyone in this regard for, despite greatly enjoying my meals there, I don’t think I’d been since 2010.

Rice Queen is less upmarket than St Jude’s and is perhaps surviving the current economic circumstances more easily. It has a mixed reputation, but may do well on Brunswick St. It therefore leaves a vacancy in Smith St, but I wonder if there are issues in their building.

It’s being redeveloped by having apartments added on top of it while the tenants below continue with business as usual. I’d like to hear from anyone with information about how that’s progressing.

St Jude’s has closed

6 thoughts on “St Jude’s has closed

  • 3 July 2012 at 8:21 am
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    Interesting…. seems to make sense that Brunswick Street will inevitably represent the demographic of Melbourne … thank goodness it’s not another chain restaurant coming in.

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  • 3 July 2012 at 11:57 am
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    I suspect you’re right about difficulties with the Smith St site. Rice Queen reduced their open hours about a month back (now only open 3 or 4 days a week). When I asked a bartender why he told me it was related to the building works. Selling air rights might not be as simple as it seems!

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  • 4 July 2012 at 1:01 pm
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    Rice Queens space is SO beautiful, that’s a shame they are closing it (presumably once they shift to Brunswick st) their food is great too. Must do some more trips to Rice Queen before it closes. The name has always jarred me though!

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  • 8 July 2012 at 9:25 pm
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    Ah, that sucks – St. Judes was maybe my favorite restaurant in Melbourne. But thanks for the update.

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  • 8 July 2012 at 9:39 pm
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    A shame- it was on my “to go” list. But as one door closes…it seems that something is about to finally happen in the Volare site..

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    • 8 July 2012 at 11:07 pm
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      It looks like a chain is going into the Volare site – nothing to get excited about.

      Reply

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