Public: Geelong’s Own Library Café

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Public: Geelong’s Own Library Café

Open seven days a week, the Library’s cafe is the perfect place to fuel your research with a delicious breakfast or lunch, indulge in some coffee and cake, or relax with a glass of wine.

After years of progress, the vibrant new café at the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre officially opened a few weeks ago by father-son duo Richard Kelly (of Geelong’s catering service The RK Group) and his 26-year-old son Taylor.

“It’s in such a unique location,” explains Taylor, who manages the inclusive café. “Even though a usual café might not be as busy on the weekend, we are really busy because we have that constant foot traffic from the library. It really changes the dynamics, and the atmosphere changes from Monday-Friday compared to Saturday and Sunday.”

Located on the ground floor of the Johnstone Park building, Public is the perfect place to gather, socialise, dine and relax in the heart of Geelong’s Cultural Precinct. With seating for 60 people, Public also offers WiFi access to allow people to continue their work while having a bite to eat.


“We do breakfast and lunch but we also have a beautiful, fresh display cabinet where we have baguettes and paninis and food that we can both toast and do fresh – it’s all always fresh, every day,” Taylor says.

“The whole menu is designed to be very quick given that the majority of the clientele we know are on quick lunch breaks, so there’s nothing on the menu that you’ll be waiting too long for.”

With amazing ambiance and views of the Library and Johnstone Park, Public is becoming the ideal place to drop in when there’s so much to do but so little time. The café space itself boasts lots of natural light through the large windows overlooking the park, complimented by delicate woven pendant lights and hanging greenery, resonate of the outside view.

Catering to those that enjoy a bit of luxury during lunch, the licensed café is continually growing their drinks offering. Along with the classics like coffee and juices, you can step it up with an Aperol Spritz, Campari and Soda, or indulge in some beautiful local wines from wineries including Baie, Clyde Park and Leura Park.

“We’ll just keep growing our drinks offerings, we are a licensed café so we’ll do some more things with that, like after work drinks and just keep on evolving our food menu as well – making it a little bit more summer focused so it’s just a little bit lighter with more summer flavours,” he says.

“Given that we’re only a month in, we’re just kind of testing the waters with a few things but it’s all going really well, the café itself is pumping, it’s very busy and everyone’s loving it.”


Public Cafe is open Monday to Friday 8am-5.30pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm, and is located at the side of the ground-level of the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre.

Public does not take bookings for tables but patrons can pre-order food and beverages via the Public Café app.

Follow them on Instagram at @publicgeelong.