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Businesses in Docklands - March 2014

06 Mar 2014

Tasty cargo on board

Looking for good food, great views and excellent service, without the hefty bill? Look no further than Cargo.

Located on the water’s edge at NewQuay Promenade, the newcomer is already attracting plenty of positive reviews, following its opening just before Christmas.

Owners John Scarda, Stephen El-Khoury, Jerry Dimas and Diana Desensi believe Cargo fills a gap in the market.

Mr Scarda and Mr El-Khoury also own NewQuay’s Berth, which opened in 2005, while Mr Dimas and Ms Desensi are the restaurant’s manager and head chef respectively.

Accordingly, the quartet has plenty of local experience to back up its attempt to add the missing ingredient to NewQuay.

According to Mr Dimas, Cargo aims to offer something different with its casual, relaxed format.

Mr Scarda agreed: “It’s accessible. We felt that’s what NewQuay was lacking, that accessibility, where you can just stroll down with your family and friends and don’t feel that you have to commit to a meal to come into the venue.”

According to Mr Dimas, part of Cargo’s charm is that it can be whatever the customer wants it to be.

“You can come in for a coffee and cake, you can come in for a beer, you can come in for a three-course dinner,” Mr Dimas said.

Everything on the menu is under $20, making it great value for money.

“We’ve got the best views in Melbourne for under $20,” Mr Scarda said.

Despite the low price-point, Cargo offers a range of high-quality meals full of authentic flavour, with head-chef and part-owner Ms Desensi having spent much of last year travelling through Spain, Morrocco and Italy developing the restaurant’s menu.

With eight boutique beers on tap Cargo is also sure to entice beer connoisseurs. The beer tasting paddle offers a great way to start.

Cargo also offers takeaway coffee, cakes and pizza and baguettes, making it a simple lunchtime option.

“We’re also offering delivery to all the corporates along NewQuay,” Mr Scarda said.

And of course Cargo hasn’t forgotten the most important meal of the day, opening at 7am and offering all-day breakfast.

Cargo doesn’t take bookings, operating on a first come, first served basis. “We invite guests to enjoy a drink at the bar if there’s a wait for a table,” Mr Dimas said.

You can find Cargo at 55 NewQuay Promenade or can contact the restaurant on 9670 0999.

New kidz on the block

Elena Biantes loves working with kids, so opening her own childcare centre in Docklands is a dream come true.

Ms Biantes is the owner and operator of Kool Kidz, a new centre within the historic Goods Shed South and catering for children aged between eight-weeks-old and six years.

The business is part of a wider network of childcare centres, which operate under the Kool Kidz brand owned by Phillip Hortis.

The centre is inviting families to an open day on March 15, ahead of its anticipated opening in April, so parents can learn about the Kool Kidz model and find out exactly what sets the centre apart from standard childcare providers.

“Parents can come any time between 9am and 5pm and we’ll have activities set up and different experiences to try,” Ms Biantes said.

“Parents will be able to meet with teachers and educators and enjoy a sausage sizzle,” she said.

“We’ll also have a special appearance by our mascot ‘the Kool Kid’,” Mr Hortis added.

Parents can fill out enrolment forms at the open day and, with just 130 places available, they are sure to fill quickly.

Ms Biantes, who has previously worked in the childcare industry, said Kool Kidz offered a different experience to standard childcare and could be considered the “private-school” version of childcare.

She said Kool Kidz offered a higher ratio of educators to children than was required by the State Government, had an in-house chef to prepare nutritious meals and followed a “Kool Beginnings” educational curriculum.

The centre offers both a three and four-year old kinder program and has a ground floor, outside playground, along with several “art expression” rooms used purely for creativity.

“I’ve always wanted to work with children and having my own business is a dream come true, especially with the support of a central support team,” Ms Biantes said.

The centre will operate with support from the Kool Kidz support team who provide continued training and mentoring for staff.

“One thing unique about our business is that we have a mentor who comes in to spend time with staff to set standards and mentor staff members and educators to set high curriculum goals,” Mr Hortis said.

For more information visit or contact Ms Biantes on 0429 099 123.

Kool Kidz is located at the Goods Shed South (entry at the corner of Village and McCrae streets).

Rise Waterfront is definitely what you would call a one-stop shop.

Combining a café, buffet restaurant, bar and function centre over two levels, Rise has got you covered no matter what kind of dining option you’re looking for.

The restaurant changed hands in November last year, with business partners Franco Bruzzese and Lucy Peng now running the show.

According to Mr Bruzzese the pair are a “formidable team”, with both having extensive experience in the restaurant game.

Mr Bruzzese said Rise was his 99th restaurant, having opened his first, a pizza and pasta restaurant, in 1972 at age 17.

Ms Peng agreed she and Mr Bruzzesse made a strong team and said this was supported by a group of experienced staff.

According to Mr Bruzzese, with their combined expertise, the pair hopes to highlight “the splendour of Docklands”.

Mr Bruzzese said Rise offered incredible views and sensational food.

“The price factor is very affordable and the quality is of the highest standard,” he said

Rise offers an international cuisine buffet each night, with a focus on seafood.

Since Mr Bruzzese and Ms Peng took over they have also began offering a $10.80 lunch at Rise Café. The offer includes any meal on the menu plus a glass of beer, wine or soft drink.

Happy hour at the bar is also sure to be a popular option with house spirits, house wine and house beer on offer every day from 3pm until 8pm for just $3.50 a glass.

Mr Bruzzese said Rise would soon offer a Sunday buffet lunch focusing on Italian cuisine and providing live entertainment.

He said live performers could also be seen at the venue on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Rise definitely has lunch and dinner covered and, from next month, it will also be taking on breakfast. A full breakfast menu will be available each day from 7am until 11am daily.

Upstairs, the Rise function room can cater for a variety of events, from weddings to corporate events, and can cater for small events of 20 people to large-scale functions of up to 600 people.

With its wide range of offerings Rise is sure to have something to suit every customer.

“I want to give Docklands a place to have fun, to have a drink, to enjoy a nice meal, that won’t cost an enormous amount of money,” Mr Bruzzese said.

Rise Waterfront is located at 51-53 Victoria Harbour Promenade. Visit or phone 9670 9218 for more information.

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