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Business in Docklands - April 2012

27 Mar 2012

Renzo's kicked a goal at NewQuay

Renzo’s Bar Café Italiano is testament to the notion that quality lasts.

Renzo Mammolito said his was the first restaurant to open in Docklands – in September, 2002.

But, like in a game of footy at nearby Etihad Stadium, it’s only half-time for Renzo’s.

“Docklands has come a long way in 10 years,” Mr Mammolito said.

“It is good but Docklands still needs another five years to cement itself. The construction going on is great to see and things are improving all the time.”

Mr Mammolito reckons he has kicked a goal with the location in NewQuay, so close to Etihad Stadium.

“The footy season is very good for us because fans come in for a drink or a meal before and after the game,” he said.

“Geelong Footy Club books a table for eight every time they play at Etihad.  Carlton fans also especially like coming here. For many footy fans it has become a ritual.”

Mr Mammolito migrated to Australia from Italy in 1990 – bringing of course with that famous Italian passion for soccer.

“But I’ve also become a follower of Aussie Rules footy now,” he said with a grin.

“When Melbourne Victory play at Etihad, we also get a good crowd in here.”

From the opening night, Renzo’s menu has maintained a strong, regional Italian flavour.

“Dishes change all the time, but the main theme remains: regional Italian food,” Mr Mammolito said.

“We aim to cater for all people. Big business groups wanting a lunch meeting, to family meals and couples.

“We have a good wine and cocktails list too. Every day we have a $10 to $15 lunch special.”

Mr Mammolito, 44, first worked as a chef in Toorak when he arrived in Melbourne, and then had a restaurant in Armadale for seven years before investing in Docklands.

“Hey, Renzo’s has become my second home, I’m here so often,” he said.

“But it is good. Many local residents come here for a sit-down meal or for take-away – especially our traditional Italian pizzas.”

Renzo’s Bar Café Italiano is at 46 NewQuay Promenade, call 9640 0550 or visit


Southbank's new "pearler" of a place ...

I remember an ancient proverb from my travels in China: “The loftiest towers rise from the ground.”

It pretty much means, even the grandest of achievements have a simple beginning.

That is what we are witnessing on the corner of Queensbridge and Powers streets in Southbank today – the construction of Prima Pearl apartment tower has begun.

Each day, watch the 72-storey, 250m tower slowly rise from the ground at 1 Queensbridge St.

Prima Pearl is being developed by PDG and Schiavello, and sales executives Chris Carmona, Julie Belleville and John Pickham say the apartments are pretty much selling themselves.

“Prima Pearl has the best amenities being offered in Southbank today,” Chris said.

“Skylounge, on level 67, has a huge bar and lounge with views to die for,” Julie said.

Level 9 could be described as “Cloud 9”, with a massage studio, private cinema, gym, golf virtual driving range, snooker and table tennis.

“It’s perfect for entertaining people,” Chris said. “It is like living in a 5-star hotel.”

Julie pointed out the sense of security, with two 24-hour concierge lobbies.

“There is so much to do at your doorstep,” Chris said. “Just across the road is Crown Entertainment Complex and we are surrounded by some of Melbourne’s best restaurants and chic boutiques.”

“And there’s the public transport – there’s a tram stop right out the front door, and buses, and the train lines on the other side of the Yarra River.”

“Double-glazed windows insulate the apartments from traffic noise.”

“The body corporate fees are lower than many similar apartment towers in the local area, because we don’t outsource body corporate management.”

Chris said people “from Shepparton to London” were buying the Prima Pearl apartments.

“We have a mix of people,” Julie said. “Families with young kids, empty nesters who want to move into the area, people who have been in Southbank for 10 years and want to upgrade – I have people from Perth who just want to use their apartments during Melbourne’s magnificent sporting events.”

John said the apartment layouts were evolving even as the tower took shape.

“There are more than 40 different apartment designs,” he said.

“The designs have been altered following customer feedback. There are still a variety of floor plans to choose from.”

Prima Pearl apartment tower will be finished in the second half of 2014.

One-bedroom apartments start at $351,000, two-bedroom from $509,000, and there are many varieties of three-bedroom apartments and penthouses.

Talk to Chris, Julie and John in the display suite at the former Queensbridge Hotel, 1 Queensbridge St, Southbank. Call 8638 1888 or visit


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