The chef behind the popular East Brunswick pizzeria 400 Gradi is set to open a restaurant in a prominent new retailing precinct across from Etihad Stadium.
Giovanni "Johnny" Di Francesco, one of only two Melbourne pizzaioli to be internationally accredited to make "real Neapolitan pizza", has signed on to be the anchor retail tenant at CBus' NAB development in Docklands.
The Italian eatery, 90 Secondi, will occupy a prominent 220-square-metre spot across from the entry to the stadium.
"It will be more a cafe pizzeria rather a restaurant pizzeria - a bit more modern, bit more casual," Mr Di Francesco said. "Docklands is a great area but it's underestimated. It needs more places like this."
Mr Di Francesco is the first Australian trained in the the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana accreditation, which safeguards the authenticity of Neapolitan pizza.
"CBus didn't want just the typical office cafe or food-court style operator in that spot," Fitzroys agent Andrew Hewett said.
The anchor lease caps a string of recent deals for Fitzroys along the 800 sq m retail concourse in the 15-level office tower at 700 Bourke Street, which is expected to open by the middle of the year.
The space will also be home to several other food and beverage outfits, including coffee specialists Dukes and In a Rush, and Japanese cafe Ichimaki. Sole office tenant NAB will open a branch on the concourse. Industry sources estimate rents in the precinct at about $1000 per sq m.