PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Sunday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Sydney
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
20° & PARTLY CLOUDY ON SUNDAY 16 DECEMBER IN SYDNEY
FOOD & DRINK

Fratelli Fresh Continues Its Rapid Expansion with New Crows Nest Trattoria

The lower north shore will get its own version of the Italian eatery.
By James Whitton
November 23, 2016
  shares

Fratelli Fresh Continues Its Rapid Expansion with New Crows Nest Trattoria

The lower north shore will get its own version of the Italian eatery.
By James Whitton
November 23, 2016
  shares

Fratelli Fresh has long been a favourite among Sydney diners since Barry McDonald started the chain many, many years ago, and the newest instalment of the franchise is due to open its doors in Crows Nest in early December.

The classic Italian eatery will take the place of the existing Bavarian Bier Café on the humming Willoughby Road dining strip, and aims to continue the legacy of providing traditional, artisanal products for a reasonable sum of dollarydoos that McDonald has consistently delivered for the past few decades.

The new restaurant comes on the back of the franchise being sold to hospitality giants Urban Purveyor Group earlier this year, and UPG's recent merge with Neil Perry's Rockpool Group to create the super-entity, the Rockpool Dining Group. With nearly 50 venues owned by one of the biggest restaurant conglomerates, Fratelli's latest incarnation is the next step in an aggressive expansion campaign that looks to take the culinary experience offered by restaurants like Rockpool Bar and Grill, Burger Project and Spice Temple all across the country. They've just opened their first Fratelli outpost in Melbourne, and the first two of many (we're talking 100 over the next five years) Fratelli Famous food court pizza spinoffs. They plan to open another four to six Fratellis in 2017.

It's almost a scientific fact that the Emerald City of Oz has a deep adoration for the Fratelli empire, and it'll be interesting to see how Sydneysiders will take to the new management. Initially, McDonald's daughter Nina Gravelis stayed on as brand general manager after UPG's takeover, but she has recently stepped aside to open her own restaurant, Exchange Restaurant and Bar on Oxford Street.

The menu at the Crows Nest joint will focus on seasonal products, and will include classics and favourites like hand-crafted pizzas, zucchini flowers, calamari fritti, delicious salumi plates, and house-made gelato, all delivered with a price point you wouldn't shake a stick at. It's clear the new owners of the group are looking to shake the concept up, but, according to Rockpool Dining Group CEO Thomas Pash, they're aiming to maintaining the standard of products and service that loyal customers have grown to expect from the franchise. Pash told us that the group aims to bring the "Fratelli magic" to a wider audience. "We have always been mindful of not diluting that magic — only enhancing where we can," Pash says.

The history of Fratelli Fresh under Barry McDonald has been written in stone, but the future of the franchise under its new management has still yet to be seen. Will we love the new incarnation of the brand as much as the old one? Only time will tell. But until then, we will still be scoffing banoffee pie in the corner.

Fratelli Fresh Crows News is set to open on Thursday, December 8 at 118 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest. For more info, head to fratellifresh.com.au.

Published on November 23, 2016 by James Whitton

Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x