When Kristy Andruszko first saw the building that was to become her new cafe, she wasn’t so sure that the bright blue shopfront on busy Brighton Road, St Kilda was going to be suitable. But once she discovered that the shop was part of an iconic building with historical significance to the area, she saw potential for a unique cafe honouring what used to be the St Kilda Dispensary.

“The original dispensary opened in 1940,” says Andruszko, showing us the marble tablet set into the front of the cafe proclaiming the construction of the building. “And at the time it was the largest dispensary in the Southern Hemisphere, with doctors’ surgeries, a pharmacy, nurses, dentists, the lot. Once I discovered that history, I knew I had a name and a theme for something different.”

Andruszko scrubbed off the blue paint overlaying the original brickwork out front, painted the inside surgery-green and went to town on medical-themed decorative touches, from vintage nursing posters to old doctors’ plaques. She even serves sugar in medical beakers (all new, of course).

The menu is well-stocked with sweets, ranging from warm spelt banana bread drizzled with maple butter, to ‘scone sliders’ – wee brioche buns with lashings of whipped cream and raspberry jam. If savoury is more your vibe, try the pancetta baked eggs or the ‘New Yorker’ sandwich filled with pastrami, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut.

And with nothing over $12.50, you can be well-fed without breaking the bank. Take two scone sliders, and call us in the morning.

St Kilda Dispensary
13 Brighton Road, St Kilda
0402 842 407

Mon to Fri 7am–4pm
Sat & Sun 8am–4pm