Pizzaiolo Francesco Crifo has teamed up with Bernie Cuteri and Joe and Bruno Ceraso to launch Est Italia Group.

The quartet’s first venue, modern all-day Italian eatery Roccella, will open in the East Melbourne space that previously housed GG.

The concept will merge dining and retail, with imported and home-made take-home pantry and liquor staples, deli and freshly baked breads and pastries, grab & go breakfast and lunch all on offer.

“It all started from our family dinner tables, backyards and garages,” says Bruno Ceraso. “Getting together with family and friends to make wine, grappa, salami, tomato sauce and pickled vegetables is a huge part of our culture and community so we didn’t have to look too far for inspiration.

“We all grew up working in family businesses and were surrounded by people passionate about home-made Italian food.

“We wanted to create a space that showcases our love for modern Italian restaurants, cafes, bakeries, delicatessens, markets, gelaterias and pasticcerias.

“What we offer is simple, real and delicious contemporary Italian and we can’t wait to open our doors in January next year.”


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