Papa Gino’s celebrates 50 wonderful years on Lygon St

Papa Gino’s celebrates 50 wonderful years on Lygon St
Brendan Rees

Papa Gino’s, the iconic Italian restaurant on Lygon St, is a beloved institution in the Melbourne food scene.

Founded in 1973 by Gino Brosca and his wife Silvana, the restaurant has seen many changes in the Carlton area over the years, but its commitment to serving delicious, hearty pizza and pasta dishes has never wavered. 

This year Papa Gino’s is celebrating its 50th anniversary, marking a significant milestone for Gino’s children, Alex, Rose, Vincent, Paul, and Harry, who now run the business.

“We are incredibly proud to have reached this milestone, and we are honoured to have served our loyal customers,” Alex Brosca said. 


We look forward to continuing to serve up authentic Italian cuisine for many years to come.


The restaurant has been transporting its customers back in time to the 1970s with its exposed brick walls, which are adorned with old photos showcasing Lygon St “back in the day”. 

“They think it’s like going back into a time warp,” Alex said. “That’s what people love, we just never changed anything. We’ve kept it simple.”



But it’s Papa Gino’s commitment to quality and tradition that has made it a beloved destination in the Carlton community.

Customers can enjoy classic pizzas like the margherita, tropical, and bruschetta, as well as traditional pasta dishes, such as Bolognaise, Napoletana, lasagne, and Americana. 

The restaurant has truly stood the test of time having weathered recessions and COVID-induced lockdowns, with Alex admitting “it’s been a hard slog” but was proud to think “we have one of the longest serving families on the strip now”.

Alex began working in the restaurant as a 10-year-old, doing chores before and after school such as peeling olives and anchovies, after his father, who sadly died in 1988, first opened its doors. 

Alex explained he initially started a photography course at RMIT University, but his father told him, “Well, you’re not going to make any money out of photography, come and join the family business”.

“So, that’s basically what happened,” Alex said, adding “my older brothers and my sister were here from day one.” 

Papa Gino’s officially celebrated its 50th anniversary on January 1, but Alex said they didn’t want to “make a fuss” with hosting a birthday bash. 

But to thank the community’s loyal support over the decades, the restaurant is offering a 10 per cent discount on customer bills until the end of July. 

“It’s nothing fancy, but it’s wholesome, and you can get plenty of food for a reasonable price – it’s what we made a trademark on.” •

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