Paddington eatery Lucio’s to auction off famous wall art

Two hundred works spanning the restaurant’s 37-year history will be auctioned by Bonhams on February 28, a month after the restaurant serves its last meal on January 29.

While the auction catalogue has yet to be finalised, Luke Sciberras’ The Kitchen of the Golden Era, for example, is valued at between $2000-$4000.

In a statement issued on behalf of Bonham, Galletto said food and art were like the “air that I breathe”.

“I grew up in the family restaurant in Italy where we had an art gallery, so it has always been in my blood,” he said. “It is very important for me personally and, also, I think for our customers as well. The combination of great food, great service and great art on the walls is, in my view, one of the best dining experiences you can imagine.”

Among the art on display in the restaurant is a collection of 15 plates designed and styled by artist friends to celebrate 15 years of being in Paddington. They have been added to over the years by names including Sciberras, John Beard, Tim Storrier and Elisabeth Cummings.

The relationship between patron and artist was often mutually creative. In 2009 Garry Shead and Adrienne Levenson’s portrait of the proprietor entitled The Soffritto of Lucio was a finalist for the Archibald Prize. In the same year, the artists put the finishing touches to a large mosaic version of one of Shead’s Kangaroo paintings that was installed streetside by the restaurant’s entrance.


In 1999, former restaurant critic Leo Schofield described Lucio’s as the closest thing to a “salon” in Sydney.

“Everyone knows Lucio’s. Everyone loves Lucio’s… Hither are drawn tycoons, the shakers and the shaken, budding plutocrats, fading stars. But most of all artists. Any good salon needs a peppering of creative types, and they have always seemed attracted to this spot. It is a happy place,” he wrote.

It wasn’t only artists who were drawn to the restaurant’s traditional Italian specialties. Paul Keating, Malcolm Turnbull, and former Crown Resorts chairman John Alexander have been diners as have Al Pacino and Billy Crystal, Beatles Paul McCartney and George Harrison, and opera singer Jose Carreras.

The Gallettos’ son and daughter, Matteo and Michela, are now looking to spearhead the family tradition at another larger location.

“I’d like to go to another old building with charm, somewhere in the east,” Galletto told this masthead last year. “I’m really proud of what Sydney has become. When I arrived here, it wasn’t always easy to find a great place to eat. Now we have nothing to envy of the rest of the world.”

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Baba ka Dhaba: Eatery owner angry with blogger who made him famous

The stall owner told the

Indian Express newspaper that he had only received 200,000 rupees ($2688 ; £2083) from Mr Wasan.

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Introducing Ong: A Vietnamese bar and eatery on Rundle Street from the Noi team

The team behind Noi and Shibui are bringing a Vietnamese bar and eatery to Rundle Street, at the former Chopstix site on Rundle Street.

At the advent of the COVID shutdown, on 23 March this year, almost all of the family Nguyen’s shops shut indefinitely.

A group decision was made to keep Noi open so that the members of their staff who weren’t eligible for government support could continue to work, but the rest laid dormant until a viable path to trade could be seen.

Coming up to six months from the shutdown, all of the family’s restaurants have reopened bar one – Chopstix on Rundle Street.

The elders of the Nguyen family, Tam Tran and Thich Nguyen, had purchased the restaurant 16 years ago, when it was Rundle Noodle Bar, before converting it to Chopstix not long after.

Thy, who founded Shibui and Noi with her husband Quang over the last two years, had been asked by her mother, Tam, a couple of times recently if she wanted to take over the restaurant.

It had never been a feasible idea, with Shibui and Noi taking a lot of her attention, but with the COVID shutdown in effect, an opportunity presented itself.

The family had planned to give Chopstix on Rundle a quick spruce up – rejigging the kitchen, painting the shop and installing new flooring – so, Thy and her family thought, they might as well go a little bit further and install a new concept.

“It was always going to be Chopstix, up ‘til around about a month ago,” says Nhi Nguyen.

“We were like, ‘Alright, it’s been closed six months. We really need to open something.’”

Noi has proved to be incredibly popular, even maintaining a steady trade during COVID, despite not being designed for the takeaway model that was forced upon them.

Because of this, the decision was made to bring an adapted version of Noi to the city, in a more casual, bar-oriented way.

The new bar and eatery will be called Ong Vietnamese Kitchen.

“It’s kind of become an extension of Noi, but definitely not Noi,” chef Quang explains.

“Noi’s more sharing, whereas here we’re thinking a bit more casual, bar snacks, more snacky food, where you can just sit, enjoy, drink.

“The food that we’ll offer here, and the atmosphere and the vibe that we want, I think it slots in quite nicely with NOLA, Golden Boy, that vibe.

“A bit more of what people would expect with Vietnamese, or accustomed to, but still our take on it.”

Ong won’t mess with the classics, and will instead iterate on well-known Vietnamese dishes by doubling down on their idiosyncrasies.

“Quang’s bringing his chef’s take on the pho. So we’re playing around with doing pho-braised short ribs,” Thy says.

“They’d generally braise that in the stock to create the stock. We want to have it and braise it in a pho broth, to add more flavour into it,” Quang explains.

“It’s just a bit more attention to detail on how can we add more layers of flavour into it, without making it completely different.”

There will also be bun bowls, and banh xeo (a savoury turmeric and coconut pancake), and Quang’s take on a tea sandwich.

“We really want to do a crispy chicken skin bao sandwich,” he says.

“There’ll be a few playful things, the bar snacks.”

The menu will be playful and adaptable to the many ways East End patrons like to dine out – be it a few snacks before a night out, or a longer dinner accompanied by cocktails, wine and beer.

“Say someone who wants to have a really good bowl of pho, they can come in and have a bowl of pho, have a drink, done. Or a group of friends who want to go out and catch up and snack on stuff, and then eat bigger, pho or a bun bowl, whatever, they have the option to do that as well,” Thy explains

“I think what people have come to know us for is we just really like food, and we like eating good food, so that’s what we’re going to do.”

The team is yet to decide what hours the bar and eatery will do when it opens sometime around the end of October.

Phong, Thy’s brother, also runs Lemongrass next door, and while he says the lunch crowd hasn’t come back to Rundle Street yet, there are healthy nighttime and weekend crowds beginning to emerge.

“The weekends are good. There’s an activation with the Adelaide city council and the Maras Group, which helps,” he says.

“Before COVID, there was a really good vibe in the East End, there were new venues that were going to open, everyone gels with each other, it improves the whole precinct.

“The weekends have a really good vibe, just with Vardon. It’s a really nice hub in the East End. It’s just missing that thing that we can bring into it.”

Ong Vietnamese Kitchen is slated to open around the end of October. Keep an eye on the venue’s progress by following via Instagram.

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acre farm & eatery pop-up at Burwood Brickworks

Serving takeaway coffee as well as sausage rolls, pies, pastries, sandwiches and house-made cakes. acre merchandise including candles and tea towels as well as house-made pickles, sauces, preserves, micro herbs (grown in the rooftop’s hydroponic system), Proud Mary coffee and alternatives milk such as almond, soy, lactose-free, coconut and oat milk will all be available for purchase.

The acre pop-up located in front of Woolworths at Burwood Brickworks (70 Middleborough Road, Burwood East) will be open Monday to Friday from 7 am – 2 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 am – 2 pm.

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Arbory Bar & Eatery Re-Opens

With permission to host 94 guests at any one time, Melbourne’s much-loved venue Arbory Bar & Eatery is thrilled to reopen, welcoming guests back to the iconic riverside bar. Following its closure in March this year, Arbory has reopened with capacity to host 94 guests at any one time – currently the largest dining capacity in Melbourne. Its reopening will also see the venue welcome back over 90 of its staff members.

Open daily from 12pm to 10pm, Arbory is now taking bookings* and welcoming walk-ins. In effort to support local, a burger & Mountain Goat Ale offering for $25 is available between 12pm to 6pm Monday to Sunday.

Head Chef Nick Bennett has also designed a fitting feed saying, “We’ve paired the menu back to the classics that we know our customers love. We’re so excited to see some familiar faces back by the river and we feel privileged to be able to welcome so many guests”

The menu consists of Arbory favourites including:

• Double cheeseburger with bacon, pickles, tomato relish and crinkle cut chips

• Chilli dog, spicy beef, onion, cheese, mustard and jalapeño

• Salt and pepper fried calamari and Sicilian chilli aioli

• 250g Great Southern Pinnacle Sirloin, baby spinach, onion rings & pepper sauce

There’s also something for the kids with a cheeseburger and chips, fish and chips, fried chicken and chips or pasta all on the menu for just $10 each.

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Continuing its support of the arts community, Arbory has reinstated a rotating schedule of DJs every weekend on Fridays and Saturday nights, kicking off with DJ Mugen & JNett this Friday 12 June and Prequel and HansDC on Saturday 13 June.

To celebrate this milestone, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp was delighted to visit Arbory today to check out its final preparations before re-opening to the public and be the first to dine, enjoying a classic Arbory burger and the view.

“Melbourne is carefully relaxing restrictions and it is so encouraging to see another iconic city venue starting to trade again,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Our city is world famous for its restaurants, cafes and bars and we know how crucial this sector is to the economy. I would like to encourage everyone to safely support our local hospitality businesses because they are a huge part of what makes Melbourne so marvellous,” she continued.

Located on Melbourne’s Yarra River and situated next to Flinders Street Station, the venue is best known for its energetic bar, views of the river and hugely popular list of burgers.

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Bookings and can be made online via and are available up to 30 minutes prior to arrival.

*Sitting times are capped at two hours and in accordance with the Victorian Government Health guidelines, all guests are required to order a meal at a minimum of $15 per person.

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