Bishop of Ostia
Pope Joan’s illegitimate son, the Bishop of Ostia, sets up shop next door
At the end of Jan, owners of Pope Joan, Ben Foster and chef Matt Wilkinson, extended their East Brunswick footprint by opening The Bishop of Ostia next door.
Named after Pope Joan’s illegitimate child — who it’s alleged went on to become the Bishop of Ostia — the front of the building looks more industrial workshop than bar. Inside, the graffitied brick and roller door shell are asymmetric, with banquette seats and bare wooden tables. Outside however is where most of the action takes place. Fake grass covers the walls and bar while camouflage netting shades tables. Pink tin water jugs perfectly compliment the dotted cherry blossom mural by Josef Marzi inside.
Herbs and veggies from the onsite garden find their way into cocktails and the bar menu. The creative yet unfussy food, made with Victorian produce, is a modern nod to the Middle Ages while the wine list takes you “on a trip around Victoria from Rutherglen to Phillip Island” featuring harder-to-find varieties. Tap and bottled beer are local, same goes for the cider. Gin is The Bishop’s specialty, while cocktails like ‘Northside’ and ‘Brunswick Mule’ pay tribute to the area. Also expect to sample seasonal ingredients in the cocktails, such as blood plums from Foster’s garden, which the kitchen has also converted into jam.
Whether you’re a sinner or a saint, you’ll be raising your glass to this new little bar-stard.
Where: 79 Nicholson Street, East Brunswick
When: Thu-Fri, 4pm-11am | Sat-Sun, 4pm-12pm | Food from 5.30pm
Phone: (03) 9388 8858