Melbournes Joseph Vargetto prepares for second opening

19 October, 2015 by
Danielle Bowling

Ivanhoe East will be the home to Melbourne chef Joseph Vargetto’s second opening, Pigro, which is expected to open later this year.

The restaurant will take over the Condotti site on Lower Heidelberg Road in Ivanhoe Village, which will receive a major interior and exterior makeover before the family-friendly Italian diner opens.


Vargetto currently operates Kew’s Mister Bianco, and has teamed up with fishmonger Nick Anassis as well as Mathew Maratheftis for the Pigro launch.

“Guests can come in to read the newspaper in the morning and return at nightfall for an aperitif. We’re aiming for a really relaxed and charming atmosphere that lends itself to all kinds of experiences a la Italiano,” said Vargetto.


The site’s pizza oven will remain as a feature of Pigro, as will the cured meats which will be displayed outside the open kitchen. The existing bar will run the full length of the restaurant, hosting diners and drinkers wishing to sample some of the venue’s beers or wines – both available on tap.

Some of Vargetto’s signature stuzzichini dishes will make an appearance on the menu at Pigro, as well as wood-fired pizza, freshly shucked oysters and aged meat and steaks from the char-grill. Plans are in place for a raw mozzarella bar, with produce from That’s Amore Cheese.


The caf and restaurant will seat up to 140 people and is due to open in late November/early December. The site is currently undergoing a refurbishment, including the installation of pendant lights, white tiling, wooden seats and tables and a distressed brick feature wall.