Beaufort gets buzzing

Ace Pizza owners, from left, Alex Cuccovia, Paul Aron and Michael Forde [NAMES OK]
Ace Pizza owners, from left, Alex Cuccovia, Paul Aron and Michael Forde [NAMES OK]

Owners of Cantina 663, Alex Cuccovia and Michael Forde, together with their El Publico business partners Paul Aron and John Little, recently bought the former Barolo restaurant and Soto Espresso sites.

The four are converting the two locations into a pizza restaurant and bakery respectively.

Mr Cuccovia said the investments would help continue developing the diversity on the strip.

‘We are having a crack,’ he said.

‘We want to encourage people to come to Mt Lawley and have a wander, start at one place and end up at another.’

Mr Cuccovia, who also owns Department on Beaufort and used to own Billie and Rose, and Clarences, said while hospitality and retail played a role in developing the strip, commercial investment was needed.

‘If there are offices on the street, workers will get to the area at 7am, have a coffee and at lunchtime they might get a sandwich, do some shopping or get some flowers,’ he said.

‘The shot in the arm for the street is going to come if people are using it at all times.’

Ace Pizza, which will take the place of the former Barolo site, is expected to open in May. It will serve Italian- style, wood-fired pizzas and will seat about 170 people, with dining available in the laneway next to the restaurant.

Soto will be converted into Mary Street Bakery. Mr Forde said it would offer a small range of breads, savoury and sweet produce as well as brunch options.

‘The diversity of Beaufort Street is what we are trying to maintain,’ Mr Cuccovia said.

‘Beaufort Street started out with Fresh Provisions and Planet Video. Everyone who does something on the street helps shape it.’