Melbourne

Connie’s Pizzeria Will Take Over a Whole Floor Above Heartbreaker

Complete with a working jukebox, disco balls and a rooftop.

Photo by: Tash Sorensen

It’s almost midnight, you’ve been drinking for hours and you need a pick me up. You find your way to the corner of Lonsdale and Russell Streets, to everyone’s favourite late-night digs; Heartbreaker. You go inside, you order a drink—probably a gin&soda or a beer—you follow the heaving rock ‘n’ roll music all the way past the pool table and to the pizza shop hole-in-the-wall, Connie’s Pizzeria. Finally, you sit down in the corner booth, with your massive slice of deliciously greasy pepperoni and your drink and you are oh so content. This is the life, you think.

But imagine if Connie’s Pizzeria was more than just a hole-in-the-wall. Imagine if it was a whole goddamn venue.

Well, you won’t have to imagine for too long… because it’s coming IRL.

Melbourne’s favourite late-night pizza hole-in-the-wall, Connie’s Pizzeria has just announced that it will be slinging its famous pizzas and more, from a new and larger home in the space above Heartbreaker, from January 2022.

Named after owner Michael Madrusan’s beloved Nonna Connie, the New York-inspired slice joint launched in 2017 within Made in the Shade’s iconic rock ‘n’ roll dive bar, Heartbreaker.

Michael grew up in Italian restaurants run by his grandparents and parents in the ’80s, and now, he and Zara intend to homage to those eateries with Connie’s new space.

Their vision: to create a venue all about delicious pizza, great Italian hospitality, and a little bit of nostalgia.

“We had always planned for Connie’s to evolve beyond Heartbreaker’s four walls, into its own restaurant, but the right location had never presented itself,” says co-owner Zara.

Michael and Zara. Photo: Pete Dillon

“Michael and I have had our eyes on the space for some time and when it came available, we jumped at the opportunity and immediately started working on the new concept.”

Seating more than 70 guests, the dining room features crimson red vinyl booths, checked tablecloths, leadlight pendants and iconic 80s film posters.

Over at the bar, diners can select songs from the jukebox, enjoy a game of pool and/or dance underneath the disco balls.

The adjoining rooftop deck has room for up to 30 guests and overlooks Lonsdale Street—the perfect location to enjoy a drink in the sunshine or sausage ‘n’ peppers served straight from the BBQ on weekends.

“I have so many great memories of my younger years spent at my family’s Italian restaurants. I wanted the new Connie’s to showcase the best traits of old school family-run pizzerias,” says co-owner Michael.

“It will be fun, familiar food and a really good time. Our venues are known for the theatre and attention to detail. With Connie’s, the music will play a huge role in bringing the experience to life.”

The drinks list will champion Made in the Shade’s dedication to fine drinking with classic and sparkling cocktails from The Everleigh Bottling Co., wines from Bar Margaux, and select bottled and tap beers.

Set to a soundtrack of Soul and Motown earlier in the evening and funk and disco later in the night, Connie’s is the destination for catching up with mates after work for dinner, enjoying a cocktail on the rooftop deck or dancing the night away.

The new Connie’s Pizzeria is set to open in mid-late January 2022, so get your party shoes ready.

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Melbourne

The Best Sandwiches To Chow Down On In Melbourne

More than just ham and cheese.

Some say sandwiches are really having their moment, but did they ever go out of style? 

A sandwich is one of the world’s most simple culinary pleasures. Whoever first decided that putting stuff between bread means a yum time is a gosh darn genius. Although sandwiches can seem simple to make, there are people out there that have been studying the art of the sandwich and it shows.

The difference between a good sandwich and a shit sandwich is huge. We don’t want you to suffer, so we’ve put a list together of our favourite sandwiches in Melbourne.

Here are the best sandwiches in Melbourne right now.

Hanoi Hannah’s Drip Drop Banh Mi 

Windsor

The Drip Drop Banh Mi is Hanoi Hannah’s new lunch sandwich that is messy in all the right ways. Think white bread roll with a crispy crust and soft centre, laced with pâté and lemongrass satay sauce and a nice juicy hunk of lemongrass chargrilled chicken.

Most importantly, a warm pho-inspired gravy is served on the side to dip, drizzle or drown the sandwich. This mouth-watering sandwich is available from today, July 8, at Hanoi Hannah’s Windsor and Elsternwick locations. It’s crunchy, it’s messy, it’s fragrant and an all round multisensory, hands-on journey. Roll your sleeves up and get to it.

Dine in or take it home.

Photo: @nicos.melbourne

Nico’s Sandwich Deli’s Cubano

Fitzroy

Get your hands around this combo: smoked pork belly, grandma ham, original salad creme, picks, American mustard and cheese. Recommended to be eaten with pickled chilli and hot sauce, this Cubano is downright juicy in the best way. Nico’s Sandwich Deli has a rotating menu that heroes classic flavour combinations with a little twist. You can’t really go wrong, especially if you pair your sandwich of choice with one of their Malted Caramel Shakes. It’s a whole lotta yes.

You can dine in or take away.

Photo: @stansdeli

Specials at Stan’s Deli

Malvern

Every weekend, Stan’s Sandwich Deli put up incredible sandwich specials and honestly, we can’t pick a favourite. One week you might be dazzled by a veal schnitzel bun with tomato and fennel slaw, and the next you’ll get a Jerusalem artichoke toastie with aged parmesan, horseradish mayo and Guindilla peppers. Located in the lush streets of Malvern, Stan’s has a real diner-on-an-American-highway feel to it, but slightly more aesthetically refined, refill filter coffee and all. 

Dine in or take away.

Photo: @kingwilliam_takeaway

King William’s Brigadier

Flinders Lane

This sando pulls rank on the Colonel. From a hole-in-the-wall sandwich deli in Melbourne CBD’s Flinders Lane, comes a soft white roll filled with roast free-range chicken, crispy chicken skin, traybake stuffing, zucchini slaw and their infamous secret gravy. It’s the chicken rolls of all chicken rolls. You’ve never had a chicken sandwich until you’ve had King William’s Brigadier. It’s the perfect combination of juicy chicken breast and crispy chicken skin. Should I keep going? I can.

Only available for pick-up.

Photo: @saulssandwiches

Saul’s Muffuletta

Carnegie

The Italian stallion of sandwiches. Saul’s Sandwiches do some bangin’ bites – pretty much every sandwich they do, they do right. But the Muffuletta is a fan favourite and it’s off the charts. Think stacks of mortadella, artichokes, provolone cheese, salami, pesto, spinach and chilli. It’s an antipasto board in a sandwich and it’s goddamn good. 

You can dine in or takeaway.

Photo: @palette_melbourne

Palette’s Candied Bacon & Cheese

North Melbourne

Palette in North Melbourne is inspired by Korean aesthetics and lifestyle, and they aim to bring different cultures together. Everything about this place is beautiful and delicious (especially the coffee), but we can’t get past their Candied Bacon & Cheese sando. Imagine: scrambled eggs with corn, candied bacon, sliced cheese and chilli jam in toasted brioche. Uhhh. Name a better breakfast sandwich, we’ll wait.

Available to dine in or takeaway.

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