A local chef has announced plans to open a pizza and pasta shop in Melbourne, saying it is an opportunity to get out of the city and create a new lifestyle.
The Sydney chef, who has been in the food business for 30 years, said his business was not in a position to do so right now because he does not have the funds to buy a licence.
His opening is in the Melbourne CBD, but the shop is yet to be formally approved by the Melbourne Council of Trade Unions.
The local business is set to open next month.
“It’s a great opportunity to open up in the CBD,” he said.
“If we can get our licence through the council, it will allow us to expand.”
The chef has been a pizza-maker for 20 years.
“I’ve been making pizzas for about 20 years,” he told ABC News.
“My wife and I are passionate about it and we have two kids, so we love it.”
We are lucky in that our children love it and our wife loves it.
“We’ve got a couple of kids of her own who have been eating at our pizzas.”
Mr Turnbull said he wanted to open the shop as soon as possible.
“When we did it in Melbourne we opened in January last year and I had to go to the shop for a week, so it’s been a few weeks,” he explained.
“The main thing is that I want to open this shop in the first week of February, and I’m hoping we can have it open in April.”
The Sydney shop is not yet officially approved by local councils.
The chef said he was looking forward to opening the shop in February.
“There’s no reason why we can’t do it in the coming months,” he added.
“But I’d like to get it open and do it right.”
A few years ago, a small pizza shop in Sydney was the subject of a major controversy when the council of trade union representing restaurant workers, the Australian Federation of Restaurant and Food Employees (AFRFE), alleged that the business was a “closed shop” that was “not a fair business”.
The group later lost a legal battle against the council’s decision.
The NSW branch of the AFRFE, which represents about 5,000 food service workers, said it was “disappointed” that the council had decided to remove its objection to the business.
“These days, a lot of people just think of pizza as a fancy food item and that’s what they think of when they think about restaurants,” chief executive David Williams said.
But he said the business could still become a successful restaurant.
“Our members don’t just eat out in the dining rooms,” Mr Williams said, “they also eat out at restaurants.”
“We’re the largest restaurant group in Australia, so there’s an opportunity for them to do a lot more.”
AFFE chief executive Michael McCormack said the restaurant group was “very disappointed” that NSW had removed its objection, but he said it could happen again in the future.
“They’ll see the shop go forward in the near future,” he noted.
“That’s a very important step forward.”
He said the NSW government had also recognised that “there are a number of restaurants in Sydney” that were “too small to have the impact they’re having”.
“We’ll continue to work with the city to support the restaurants in NSW,” Mr McCormack added.
The Australian Restaurant and Wine Federation (ARIWU) is also disappointed that NSW did not remove its opposition to the opening of the Sydney shop, which it said was a step forward.
“This decision will make it much harder for Sydney’s young and promising restaurateurs to succeed in the hospitality industry,” AFRFE president and CEO Michael McCormacks said.
He said that the establishment of a Sydney shop would be “a significant boost” for restaurants in the city.
“An AFRFWU-sanctioned restaurant is essential for the growth of Sydney’s hospitality sector and we are grateful to the government for the decision to approve this shop,” he continued.
The Canberra chef said the decision would also allow him to expand the restaurant into other parts of Sydney.
“You have to have a strong sense of community and a strong belief that you can do something,” he stressed.
“To do that, you have to be very creative.”
The new shop will be in a space that Mr McCormacks hopes will attract people from other parts, like from the CBD.
“With the right type of space, you can create a great community,” he predicted.