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Business in Docklands - November 2011

02 Nov 2011

Lawyers local to Docklands

Without a firm of lawyers resident in the precinct, Tolhurst Druce and Emmerson (TDE) is a law firm local to Docklands.

Located at the western end of the city, on the corner of Bourke and William streets, the office is a short stroll or tram ride away from the Docklands.

There is nothing pretentious about TDE.  In some respects it is what you would expect from a suburban law practice.  The firm is no nonsense and prides itself on offering an excellent legal service at a cost-effective price.

In other respects, the firm is very much at home in the CBD. With a proud heritage of legal practice spanning well over 100 years, the firm offers a full range of services
tailored to the needs of individuals, families and business. As a city-based firm there is ready access to barristers, the courts and other professionals.

The range of services offered by the firm include: conveyancing and property law; wills, probate and the administration of estates and trusts; all areas of family law; commercial and business law matters; together with litigation and dispute resolution services.

The lawyers at Tolhurst Druce and Emmerson are skilled and experienced. Partners of the firm have decades of experience in their area of practice. Several practitioners are accredited specialists in their fields of expertise by the Law Institute of Victoria.

The firm says results from a recent questionnaire illustrated that TDE clients felt comfortable, had confidence in the lawyers’ ability and were able to rely on them. TDE says this environment is important, as it lays the groundwork to obtain the best possible legal outcome, whilst reducing the stress often associated with legal issues.

Peter Weller, a partner in the area of litigation and dispute resolution, is proud of the combination of expertise and service offered by the firm.

“We are large enough to offer a true depth of experience, whilst being small enough to offer the personalised service that is the hallmark of our firm,” he said.

The aim of TDE is to build long-term client relationships. From the outset, it takes the time to listen to the needs of its clients.  The lawyers then work with their clients to protect current interests, whilst also devising a legal strategy which will serve them into the future.

John Henry, a partner in the firm, works in the area of wills and estates.  He says his firm has been servicing generations of the same families.

“We’re proud to be their lawyers and we often work with several generations of their families. They see us as trusted advisers in times of trouble as well as coming to us to establish their legal affairs,” Mr Henry said.

Level 3, 520 Bourke Street, Melbourne  Ph 9670 0700

Assisting Docklands’ healthy attitude to eating

Docklanders have a healthy attitude towards lunch, according to Alex Wong (left).

Mr Wong said a trend away from “junk food” in favour of healthier fare has justified his decision to invest in a Make Your Own franchise in Docklands.

“A lot of people are trading up from fast food such as potato cakes and the like, to sandwiches or a healthy salad,” Mr Wong said.

“Surprisingly, many of my lunch customers are men.”

Mr Wong said construction site workers were joining office and retail workers in opting to make their own sandwich or pizza from the 75 fillings he has on offer.

The fillings display nutritional information, such as fat content, carbohydrate and kilojoules.

Sandwich prices are based on weight, while salads are priced according to bowl size … so stuff the bowl as full as you want.

“As well as sandwich bread and pizza bases, we offer wraps, rolls and croissants,” he said.

“We have a different hot food dish every day – today’s is lasagne bolognese.”

If you are not in the creative Masterchef mood, MYO has chef-designed recipes for you to follow.

There is also a “Sandwich of the Week” – see how your tastebuds cope with avocado, roast beef and seeded mustard.

MYO also caters for breakfast, with cereals and coffee and tea.

MYO has 19 outlets in Australia, and six in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Mr Wong opened his MYO outlet, on Batman’s Hill Drive, two and a half years ago.

“I went to a franchise convention in Perth, and the MYO concept stood out to me,” he said.

“Docklands seemed to be the perfect place to open one. It’s all about potential.”

“What appeals to me most about the Docklands area is what it will become.”

MYO is open 7am-4pm, and is on Batman’s Hill Drive, Docklands. Call 8648 8711 or visit

Cutting edge stuff

As far as men’s hairdressing goes, this is cutting edge stuff.

The leather chesterfields, the timber panelling, the slight piquancy of men’s fragrance, the relaxed atmosphere – The Barber Club, at Victoria Harbour in Docklands, has raised the bar for barbers.

And throw in a complimentary drink – yes, a free beer while you are being de-bearded.

Manager Aakash Shergill and his colleagues are celebrating the Barber Club’s first birthday this month.

“We offer a suit-and-tie concept for men’s haircuts,” Mr Shergill said. “This is a men’s haven. As well as a haircut, they can relax and read a magazine, have a snooze on the sofa, enjoy a drink – just chill out for a while.”

“Men come in and say, ‘I’m sick of having to line up at a barber on a weekend’. Here they can get a haircut during a spare hour while at work.”

Mr Shergill said business was booming, as more people moved into Docklands.

“We love it here. All the local traders are cool and we promote each other,” he said.

“We are noticing a lot of NewQuay residents coming over here to us.  At first we catered just for the businesses and office workers, but now a lot of residents are moving here.”

“The statistics show there are about 18,000 men in a 1km radius of us. That’s a lot of haircuts.”

“We find a lot of men come in for a face shave before a wedding, or going out. We even have ladies coming in and asking if we can do them,” Mr Shergill said, with a chuckle.

“But I tell them we can’t, we are exclusively for men. Then they say, ‘I’m going to send my husband here’.”

Mr Shergill said men were a more challenging market than women.

“Men won’t ask for what they want, you have to offer it,” he said.

“I’ve just put on another staff member, so it’s now myself and two girls.”

Like the hair they snip, demand keeps growing for the guys at The Barber Club, located at 844 Bourke St, Docklands.

Call 9600 2511 or visit

New life for Watermark

New owner Dante Mastrantuono (right) sees Docklands’ Watermark through very different eyes.

While the previous owners variously presented the Victoria Harbour venue as a pub, nightclub, bar and generally somewhere to drink, Mr Mastrantuono’s vision centres on food, wine and jazz.

Watermark will remain a favourite watering hole for after-work drinks, but it’s the dining experience that will centre Victoria Harbour Promenade as a serious destination for Melbourne’s foodies.

And while he is new to Docklands, he is no stranger to hospitality, having owned and operated Vialetto in Hardware Lane for the past 15 years.

In a sense, Dante is a reflection of Docklands’ evolution from wasteland to wonderland.

Over recent years he had witnessed his corporate clientele disappearing and being replaced by mostly overseas students.  The corporates had moved to Docklands. So he decided to follow them.

“It was time to move to a bigger, more modern venue,” Mr Mastrantuono said. “Docklands is the new CBD.”

And as Hardware Lane heads down-market, Docklands is enjoying an influx of quality restaurants.

“We are fortunate in Melbourne that we have so many venues on the water,” he said. “In five to 10 years, what we have here will rival Sydney Harbour.”

In particular, Mr Mastrantuono is confident that the north-facing strip extending from under the NAB building to Dock 5 will become a dining destination in its own right.

“If we all open for dinner we will attract the crowds because we have an amazing offering down here now and no one is over-priced,” he said.

Dante plans to open every night and offer live jazz five nights a week.  Jazz band the Danny Dann Quartet  has been playing for Dante for more than 12 years and is equally thrilled with the new venue.

The bebop-flavoured band comprises 11 members who operate a roster system to determine who will be part of the nightly trio or quartet.

Dante said he had his eye on Docklands for many years and had long been a fan of Docklands pioneer Renzo Mammolito.

Earlier this year he received a generous offer to sell Vialetto and within four months had bought Watermark.  

Mr Mastrantuono said he acted quickly so he could keep his staff together. And this has paid off as he was open within a fortnight of getting the keys, including a full renovation.

Watermark is being officially launched on Tuesday, November 8 and the Docklands community is welcome to attend.  

Ohh, and you can bring your dog too.  Dante plans to introduce a special line of dog biscuits and is currently researching a suitable recipe.

For bookings ring 9642 1880. See

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