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Fratelli Fresh opens in Melbourne

Spaghetti meatballs at Fratelli Fresh, Sydney

Spaghetti meatballs at Fratelli Fresh, Sydney

The Urban Purveyor Group's national expansion begins this week.

Fratelli Fresh, Sydney's casual Italian restaurant chain, is opening its first outlet in Melbourne on Friday on a site imbued with restaurant history. Once Mietta's, latterly the home of Comme and Stokehouse Upstairs, The Alfred building will be colonised on the ground floor by Fratelli Fresh and its first floor by The Cut steakhouse.

Both fall under the umbrella of Quadrant Private Equity, the private equity player that acquired the Urban Puryeyor Group late last year. The Urban Purveyor Group then bought the 10-year-old Fratelli brand in April. UPG intends the first Melbourne outpost of the casual Italian chain (there are six in Sydney) to be the start of a major rollout that will also involve its new Fratelli Famous fast-casual pizzerias, the first of which is slated to open at Sydney's Westfield in August.

Melbourne's first Fratelli Fresh will feature outdoor dining in the Alfred Place laneway, a marble-topped pizza counter, a wood-fired oven, and a simple Italian menu ticking the boxes marked pasta, risotto and wood-grilled meats. A sharp list of crowd-pleasing cicchetti includes polenta fries with truffle and almond aïoli, kingfish crudo with smoked lardo, and crisp pigs' ears with smoked garlic and salsa verde.

In charge of the kitchens across Fratelli @ The Alfred and The Cut, a New York-style steakhouse, will be Timothy Martin, previously head chef at The European and the short-lived Italian restaurant Woody P.

UPG, which also owns the Saké restaurant brand and Bavarian Bier Café, has announced plans to dramatically expand its Fratelli brand with several new venues in Melbourne in the pipeline and more across the eastern seaboard. A Fratelli Famous is expected to open in Melbourne by December, and two of its new Saké Jr outlets will open in August, at 555 Bourke Street and in the new luxury retail centre St Collins Lane.

Fratelli @ The Alfred, 7 Alfred Pl, Melbourne, 1300 253 733, fratellifresh.com.au/fratelli-fresh-the-alfred

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