Thresherman’s Bakehouse site to finally become new restaurant

Katie Johnson

A new restaurant is rising from the ashes in Carlton after the pandemic forced the closure of many businesses in the suburb.

The historic Thresherman’s Bakehouse building which has been empty since 2018 has been snapped up by the owners of Ms Frankie – a popular Italian restaurant in Cremorne.

Ms Frankie co-owner Melinda Aloisio got the news her team had secured the iconic Thresherman’s site after another tenant’s offer fell through during lockdown.

“Carlton always felt like the natural place for the new business as we’re a traditional Italian restaurant in a contemporary setting,” Ms Aloisio said.


We’re big thinkers who don’t want to sit still so we’re really excited to expand.


Of Italian heritage herself, Ms Aloisio said she and her business partner Wani Sakellaropoulos wanted to be part of the “resurgence of Carlton” as an Italian precinct.

“We want the Italian community to come back and start to see shops filling up again,” Ms Aloisio said.

“We want to be proactive in the movement and work with the residents and other businesses to make sure Carlton has a bright future.”

Ms Frankie Carlton will have similar menu to the Cremorne restaurant that has been designed by executive chef Giorgio Di Stefano who trained in Sicily.

“We’ll keep that traditional focus with a slightly bigger menu,” Ms Alionso said.

“Pasta is our main focus but we will also have a Secondi menu of meat and fish dishes.”

Aside from the restaurant with a capacity of 350 people, Ms Frankie will also offer a cocktail bar.

The City of Melbourne unanimously voted to approve the permit to allow Ms Frankie to sell liquor until 1am at a meeting on June 1.

This was despite 24 objections from residents on Faraday Place and Dorrit St who argued the liquor permit would create amenity issues for locals.

Dorrit St resident Glenys Wilson said that although the residents were used to being surrounded by commercial businesses they were concerned about the proposal.

“The bar would be very close to the residential properties, four metres across the laneway, and across the street is all of the Women’s Hospital flats as well,” Ms Wilson said.

“There’s five windows and two old wooden doors and all of the noise echoes down the laneway as there’s many acoustic issues in the old building.”

“We have concerns about patrons coming into the residential area.”

Faraday Lane resident Cathy McGregor raised concerns about waste management and noise issues which already occur with the surrounding businesses.

“We continually have experiences where large volumes of bottles being emptied late night and early morning and being dropped in those bins, which can be quite alarming in the middle of the night,” Ms McGregor said.

“Faraday Lane is my driveway so my concern is that coming home late at night there will be patrons who may have had alcohol and the issue of managing that scenario.”

In response to residents’ concerns, the City of Melbourne has commissioned an acoustic report to ensure the restaurant would not cause excessive disturbance.

Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said that while he took residents’ concerns into consideration he was confident that Ms Frankie would abide by its obligations as a tenant.

“I know Dorrit St very, very well and I agree that it is one of the most charming streets in all of Carlton,” Cr Reece said.

“The developer is Ms Frankie Group, and Ms Frankie is a well-known venue in Cremorne which has very good reputation and has a very high-quality offering.”

“I think residents can take some comfort that your worst expectations are certainly not going to be materialised.”

“Seventy-five per cent of people at the venue must be seated and food must be served at all times of operation, so I believe that will also shape the character of this venue.”

Ms Alioso said the Ms Frankie team took residents’ concerns into consideration and wanted to work with them.

“We want to have a strong relationship with our neighbours and plan to work with the community instead of against them,” Ms Aloisio said.

“We really want to co-exist peacefully in the same space as residents and bring something to the area.”

Ms Frankie is set to open in spring 2021 •

Caption: Ms Frankie owners Melinda Aloisio and Wani Sakellaropoulos with executive chef Giorgio Di Stefano outside the old Thresherman’s building.

Caption: The Thresherman’s site has been vacant since 2018.

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