Maryanne Wong lists landmark Footscray restaurant, plans retirement

Hospitality veteran Maryanne Wong, who with her late husband, Jim, created one of Melbourne’s most revered Chinese restaurants, is shutting shop and selling.

Jim Wong Restaurant at 259-261 Barkly Street, Footscray, was opened in 1959 by Mr Wong, who married Ms Wong seven years later.

The venue is renown for its dim sims and a la carte dishes and celebrity diners – an entrance wall including photos of Mr Wong with ex-Footscray Football Club players and Merv Hughes.

The double fronted Jim Wong Restaurant covers a 580 square metre site zoned Activity Centre making it appropriate for a high density residential project.

The proprietors lived in an apartment above the double fronted shop, raising three children while trading seven days a week.

When Mr Wong died suddenly in 2016, aged 75, Ms Wong – the same age – vowed to continue the business for “a couple more years”.

It has now been three – and Sutton Commercial’s Mark Sutton has been appointed to sell the freehold (story continues below).

Ms Wong who is now in the process of closing the eatery, expects the property to attract interest from apartment developers following the construction of several medium density projects in the immediate vicinity.

The 580 square metre plot, zoned Activity Centre, has access to a right-of-way, which the local council named Jim Wong Lane.

For anybody considering using it for occupation or investment, it also includes four car parks.

A Google Maps image used in the online advertisement for 259-261 Barkly Street, Footscray.

With sale proceeds, Ms Wong said she intends to travel.

The closure of Jim Wong Restaurant leaves the T Cavallaro and Sons Bakery – which opened in 1956 and catered for that year’s Melbourne Olympics – as one of the suburb’s longest surviving retailers.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of