Matt Wilkinson's Pie Shop in Brunswick East will close the day after the AFL Grand Final. The Nicholson Street shopfront has traded under a Hot Pies sign since 2017 but today announced they'd be switching off the pie warmers on September 26.
"Due to unforeseen circumstances we've been ushered on from what has been our home for the last 5 years as the Pie Shop!!!" reads a post published on The Pie Shop's Instagram account today.
Good Food understands that Wilkinson was unable to negotiate his desired lease terms on The Pie Shop and it has since been leased to another party.
The Yorkshire-born chef says the business served its purpose and he is happy to have time to focus on his other roles, including culinary director at Montalto and Tucks in Red Hill. Wilkinson is also part of the Four Pillars team as creative director of the Made From Gin range of products. Four Pillars will unveil a huge distillery redevelopment estimated at $6 million this summer.
Taking over the lease at 75 Nicholson Street is chef Raymond Capaldi, who intends to use the shop and accompanying warehouse to create a shared marketplace for a rotating line-up of emerging and established hospitality businesses. Capaldi's Wonder Pies business will not be replacing The Pie Shop.
In June 2018, Wilkinson closed his much-celebrated cafe Pope Joan just a few hundred metres away from The Pie Shop to make way for a seven-storey apartment building. The venue moved to its current location beneath the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins in January 2019, with restaurateur David Mackintosh as business partner. Wilkinson cut ties with Pope Joan in November 2019.
"The Pie Shop was an amazing addition to Pope Joan," Wilkinson says. "It had its ups and downs since Pope Joan's closing, but it's been really nice during COVID."
Separate to his Four Pillars and Montalto work, Wilkinson is on the cusp of launching a range of barbecue rubs called Street Barbecue, inspired by grilled foods from Brazil, Tuscany, Japan and other parts of the world.
The next fortnight will be your last chance to get your hands on a Shazza, Brian or Steve pie, with Grand Final weekend tipped to be a busy one.
75 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East, thepieshop.com.au