The team at Melbourne pasta bar Tipo 00 didn't have to go far to find a site for a second restaurant. Osteria Ilaria, their new 90-seat Italian diner that's just weeks away from completion, is right next door.
Won't opening a larger Italian restaurant next door to your existing and very successful Italian eatery risk cannibalising your own business?
"It's going to have quite a different menu to Tipo, so hopefully that won't happen," says owner-chef Andreas Papadakis. "Osteria Ilaria is an Italian restaurant so obviously there needs to be some pasta on the menu, but there just won't be the same focus."
The focus will instead be on things like offal in the form of a house-made liver sausage served with crisp stuffing. There'll also be whole boned duck teamed with braised radicchio and a vin santo and hazelnut sauce, and butterflied whiting with clams and a sea-herb salad. And those still dreaming of a seat next door will find the likes of nettle gnocchi tossed with blue cheese and almonds.
Related: Seven pasta recipes by Tipo 00.
The new site comes with an enormous cellar which co-owner Luke Skidmore is already filling.
"He's stocking wine from all over the place," says Papadakis. "Of course there'll be Italian wine, but there's no hard and fast rule here that that's all we're going to pour. We want this new one to have a wine focus and for people to use this place like a wine bar, but like a Melbourne-style wine bar where it's as easy to have dinner as it is to have a snack."
Osteria Ilaria is larger than its next-door sibling and, with seating spread over high tables, the kitchen bar, banquettes and a private room out the back that seats 16, more ambitious. But the shared genes are plain to see.
Skidmore's architect sister, Briony Morgan, helped design both restaurants (wide marble kitchen passes seem to be her thing). And artist-designer Aaron McKenzie, the same guy who did the floor at Tipo 00, has painted Osteria Ilaria's floor in a colourful tile-like pattern.
Then, of course, there's the same Tipo 00 team, with Skidmore out the front and Papadakis in the open kitchen. Co-owner Alberto Fava will be keeping the fires burning at Tipo 00.
"It's going to have the same feel as Tipo 00," says Papadakis. "Same casual feel, same mix of tradition and refinement. It's not rustic food but it's simple."
Osteria Ilaria is due to open 20 May.
Osteria Ilaria, 367 Little Bourke St, Melbourne.