There’s been a lot of venue closures lately, with operators citing everything from failed rent negotiations to economic downturns and general burnout as reasons for calling final drinks.

Some, like the team at Mali Bakes, a bakery that closed its Fitzroy cake window to focus on other growth areas, are more optimistic.

Here are nine Melbourne venues that have recently closed (or have announced they’ll soon be closing).

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Izakaya Den

This subterranean Japanese bar opened in the CBD back in 2009 and closed after service on Saturday April 27.

“We looked into where the business is at,” co-owner Simon Denton told Broadsheet in April. “We’ve sort of been forced into this, in a sense. We had options: do we keep going, or do we stop? We just looked forward and thought, ‘The business isn’t strong enough’. We’re going into winter, and things have shifted, definitely, over the past six to eight months, in general.”

Rosetta

Chef Neil Perry, who previously helmed the 12-year-old Italian spot before his restaurant group sold the venue to Hunter St Hospitality in 2016, has expressed his disappointment online over the decision to close and gut Rosetta.

“Australia’s most beautiful restaurant to close @crownmelbourne @crownresorts what a waste of a fit-out that is as beautiful today as it was 12 years ago. It is sooo [sic] beautiful. It is such a waste and so unsustainable to destroy what should be heritage as it was special the day it was born,” Perry wrote in an Instagram post in April.

The venue had its final service on Sunday May 19 and will be replaced by The Henley at Crown Melbourne, a bar inspired by the Australian Henley Regatta.



Photography: Courtesy of La Luna Bistro / Arianna Leggiero

La Luna Bistro

Adrian Richardson’s 25-year-old Rathdowne Village bistro La Luna is closing this August. The restaurant will operate as usual until August, with some special events, including a favourites banquet, planned for the final weeks.

Richardson tells Broadsheet the La Luna lease was up for renewal, which gave him time to reflect.

“The question was, can I give 100 per cent of my effort and my energy to La Luna for another five years … and the answer’s ‘no’.

Gingerboy

Teage Ezard’s laneway legend Gingerboy in the CBD was placed into liquidation and officially closed on Tuesday April 2 after 18 years in business. The closure was announced by management via an Instagram post that same day.

The Melbourne staple was loved for its hawker-style food, including its son-in-law eggs and red duck curry.



Deed's Brewing. Photography: Samantha Schultz

Deeds Brewing

Glen Iris taproom and brewery Deeds wound down this month after many fruitful, award-winning years.

“Over the last 12 years, we’ve poured our hearts into every brew, every interaction, and every moment shared with you. Since going into voluntary administration eight weeks ago, we have been searching for a buyer or investor, hoping to keep the spirit of Deeds Brewing alive, but unfortunately, this hasn’t come to fruition,” the company wrote on Instagram on Tuesday May 7.

It’s just one of over a dozen independent breweries around Australia that have entered voluntary administration in the past 12 months, including Melbourne’s Hawkers and Dainton.

Temple Brewing

Weston Street brewery Temple closed for good on Sunday May 19. The label started as a nomad brewery in 2006 and became known for its sessionable Bicycle Beer (for locals looking to mix pints with pedalling) and Anytime pale ales, as well as its limited-edition brews.

“The effects of Covid and the tough post-Covid trading conditions have made it very difficult to continue operating,” the company said in a statement. “The wholesale business has been severely affected by the downturn in sales volumes. Continued trading in this environment is no longer possible.”

Pie Thief, Fitzroy

Pie Thief, known for inventive bakes including lasagne pie and chilli cheese dog pie, will continue to run its tiny Footscray shop and wholesale business as usual. But the team has decided to close its Napier Street window in Fitzroy.

“Over the last six months it has become clear that our resources have been stretched thin and we haven’t been able to give this little fella the attention it deserves,” the team wrote in an Instagram post.



Mali Bakes, Fitzroy. Photography: Amy Hemmings

Mali Bakes, Fitzroy

Pastry chef Patchanida Chimkire and her partner Luke Whitten closed their cake company Mali Bakes’s tiny Moor Street takeaway window at the end of March to focus on the custom cake side of the business.

In Fitzroy, the Mali Bakes team – which also has a commercial kitchen and shopfront in Thornbury that remains open for cakes-by-the-slice on Saturdays – served treats including a roasted corn cheesecake, a matcha chiffon roll filled with sake-soaked cherries and white chocolate cream, and a strawberry chiffon cake filled with whipped ricotta cream and fresh strawberries, dusted with strawberry powder and topped with agar-agar strawberry jelly.

The Que Club

Pitmasters at The Que Club will light up the grill and stoke the smokers at the Brunswick East barbeque restaurant for the last time on Sunday June 23, after owners Pam and Andrew Kavanagh were unable to renegotiate the restaurant lease.

The Que Club’s retail store and cooking school in Brunswick will continue to operate as normal. “This isn’t a goodbye to our restaurant, it is a ‘see ya later’,” the team wrote in an Instagram post.

Additional reporting by Nick Connellan, Michael Harry and Kai Page.