Melbourne’s Italian pasticceria institution, Brunetti, has officially opened the doors to its new city store at 250 Flinders Lane.
Brunetti closed its City Square store due to the Melbourne Metro Rail Project and has taken the opportunity to open another that celebrates a full dining experience and brings an “Italian wow factor” to the street.
“Where one door closes, another opens, and we’ve literally done that in a big way,” says Brunetti Director Fabio Angele.
The multi-million dollar fit-out is a celebration of Italian design in the 1950s and 60s.
The 300-seat store is housed in the same building as the Emirates House, with neighbours Burberry and The Hourglass welcoming the Italian brand to the area.
“Finding a space like this one is something extraordinary. It was an old walkway that we’ve renovated. Customers can now enter via Flinders Lane and leave via Collins Street or vice versa,” Fabio says.
“Flinders lane is such an iconic street. Years ago there wasn’t much reason to walk down here, but now it’s a privilege to be on this street. The architectures have modernised the space to attract a younger crowd with the use of an exposed ceiling, but we’ve still keep traditional elements to encourage families and our regulars who love the values we stand for.”
Fabio says the goal is to transport visitors to Rome – even if just for an hour.
“If you can’t fly there, you might as well visit us here and embrace a little piece of Italy,” he says.
Fabio’s father Giorgio learned his pastry skills back in Rome at his cousin’s shop before working as the official pastry chef of the 1956 Italian Olympic team. He later migrated permanently to Australia where he worked in Italian kitchens.
Giorgio acquired Brunetti in 1991, and since then, the Angele family along with brother and Director Yuri, has opened five Brunetti stores in Australia and one in Singapore.
Brunetti employees 550 staff members across its sites, with 150 alone at the new Flinders Lane venue.
“The success of our business is the staff. They create the environment and the community atmosphere,” Fabio says. “Many staff members have become life long friends, and many have met their future partners here – I go to a lot of weddings.”
Fabio says the Brunetti brand is always looking for ways to reinvent itself, and it’s done so with a big focus on design, and a cutting-edge kitchen fit out, including Australia’s first DeManincor induction cooktop, and a highly specialised Marana Forni wood fired pizza oven – both imported from Italy. The pizza oven hangs suspended from the roof – an impressive architectural feat due to its sheer weight and size.
Visitors can dine in for breakfast, lunch or dinner, take a seat at the Campari Bar for an Aperol spritz, indulge in the pastry display, enjoy the gelataria, or the coffee bar.
To mark the opening, Brunetti has created its own bespoke Arabica coffee blend, partnering with Italian coffeehouse Lavazza – a first both for Brunetti and Lavazza globally.
The blend, roasted locally in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, is exclusive to Brunetti stores in Flinders Lane, Carlton, and Myer Bourke Street.
“Coffee is such a big part of our café. We’ve created a dedicated service bar (featuring two La Marzocco FB80 machines) that puts the baristas on display, almost like their own stage. We want them to concentrate on service and making coffees as quickly as they can, but to the highest standard,” Fabio says.
A Petroncini roaster sites in the middle of the dining area with a restored E61 Faema four-group espresso machine adding to the theatre.
Fabio says the coffee bar and pastries cabinet are his favourite features of the new site – he’s a big fan of the tiramisu and cannoli – but customers will just have to pop and discover a favourite for themselves.
For more information, visit https://brunettioro.com.au/