After five years of cooking real-deal American barbeque, Richmond’s Meatmother has closed for good.

Owner Neil Hamblen says he’s keen to focus on Meatmaiden, his newer barbeque joint in Little Collins Street.

“We just found Meatmother was getting left behind by what we’re doing in the city with Meatmaiden,” Hamblen said in a statement. The large basement site is used for dry-ageing meat and experimenting with different wood-fired grilling methods, which he said “wasn’t possible” at Meatmother.

“[Meatmother] was my first hospitality baby, pretty much defined the course of my life over the past few years and I’m going to miss it,” he said. “I’ll still always remember the day in its first week when it really went off after we were reviewed in Broadsheet. There were literally 100 people queuing at the front door waiting to get in at 5pm.”

Fans of Meatmother’s meat trays can get their fix in the CBD from today with Meat Tray Love (get it?), a new $28 express lunch available alongside the usual a la carte menu. It features a generous meat portion and a bunch of sides served rapido. Today’s tray, for example, is smoked lamb ribs, spiced yoghurt and lamb salad, roast capsicum, Persian feta, house pickles, toasted bread and fermented chilli.

“We’ll be changing that hero protein on the tray every week and having some fun with it all,” Hamblen said.

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“Lunch is an interesting one in the city. People are increasingly time-challenged and we want to provide something that’s great value, delicious and hits the table super fast so you can get back to the office. But if you want to linger and avoid your boss, we’ve always got that option too.”

195 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9078 7747

Mon to Sat 12pm–3pm; 5pm–late