A LIT­TLE BIT BRASSED OFF

Herald Sun - - NEWS -

MEL­BOURNE’S who’s who flocked to Cafe Brass for it’s glitzy open­ing in March. But four months on, the doors are closed.

French cham­pagne had flowed freely, oys­ters were shucked and supped.

GARRY LYON and NICKY BROWNLESS stepped out pub­licly for the first time (far right) as cam­eras clicked fu­ri­ously. The for­mer Mel­bourne foot­ball star said, “I’m just happy to be here.”

NICK GIANNOPOLOUS was the life of the party, ex-Do­main boss

ANTONY CATALANO purred the night away, Mel­bourne foot­baller MAX GAWN made nice with Neigh­bours ac­tor ALAN FLETCHER and his wife, for­mer Ten news reader JEN HANSEN. It was a ritzy­ditzy af­fair.

The Rich­mond res­tau­rant’s fitout was equal to high-roller heaven at Crown casino. Think flashy, swish, pricey and smooth as a win­ning streak, just like its guests.

Rich-lis­ter back­ers ALEX WAISLITZ and Catalano were splash­ing the cash — plenty of ze­ros — be­hind the scenes. SAM FRANTZESKOS, for­mer owner of one-time Gre­ville St in­sti­tu­tion, Fog, was front of house. Frantzeskos’ lit­tle black book is sec­ond to none in Mel­bourne. Think ac­tors, fat cats, mod­els and more than a few cashedup bo­gans.

Cafe Brass was as bold as brass. But the shine went off and the word was the busi­ness had tanked.

Not so. It’s all about glam­ming up and look­ing bet­ter. The 150-year-old build­ing is a for­mer brass fac­tory and is “re­mod­elling”.

An email was sent out last week to in­vestors such as Waislitz say­ing it was time to re­struc­ture. Prob­lem is, like the rest of Mel­bourne’s movers, shak­ers and CUBs, most of the in­vestors are sail­ing around Europe com­par­ing yacht sizes.

But we got word from the Cat, cruis­ing from Portofino to Mykonos, that all is smooth sail­ing back at Brass. Last month, Brass was de­liv­er­ing a Sun­day brunch ser­vice called “Trolleyed”.

Un­lim­ited mi­mosas and espresso mar­ti­nis went with the food.

Frantzeskos says there’s “no story” in the story about the res­tau­rant clos­ing. That’s been over­cooked.

ANTONY CATALANO ALEX WAISLITZ

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