In 2015 the heritage-listed King & Godfree building on the corner of Carlton’s Lygon and Faraday streets began a dramatic transformation. It was always a hub of Italian deli goods, coffee, food and groceries – and well know for being a pioneer of bringing Italian food and goods to Australians – but when it opened in December 2018 it expanded and became home to three different businesses: King & Godfree Espresso Bar, a deli and grocer, and Johnny’s Greenroom, a rooftop bar. All of it combined feels timeless rather than on trend.

The ground-level espresso bar seats 45. The tight breakfast menu includes pork-and-fennel sausages with cannellini beans on toast, and scrambled eggs with cured salmon and chives. From 10am, a dedicated panino menu kicks in (sopressa, eggplant and provolone; roast pork; beef with horseradish), or you can build your own sandwich. Of course there’s pasta (amatriciana, lasagne or tuna puttanesca), salads, Pidapipo gelato, and from 4pm to 7pm it’s aperitivo time, when the cicchetti (small plates) menu becomes available.

Ringwood-based ceramicist Ingrid Tuft is behind the handmade plates, and Lucas Carrington (ex-Allpress in London) is serving robust house-blend espresso coffee. There’s filter and cold brew too.

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Updated: February 6th, 2023

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