Truck Rollover at Malvern East Causing Major Traffic Delays

Written for Broadsheet

A truck carrying dirt has rolled over at the intersection of Princes Highway and Warrigal Road in Malvern East, causing traffic chaos.

Four inbound lanes on the Princes Highway have been affected and subsequently closed off, leaving only two lanes open, with delays beginning at Ferntree Gully Road.

All southbound lanes are closed on Warrigal Road where it meets the Princes Highway.

Drivers are being urged to use the Monash Freeway or Waverley Road as an alternative.

Broadsheet spoke with Vic Roads at 1pm and it has confirmed it’s in the process of clearing the dirt. It is unsure when lanes will reopen.

Fashion Store Cose Ipanema to Close After 25 Years

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An iconic Melbourne fashion destination, Cose Ipanema, is closing its Collins Street store after 25 years.

Cose Ipanema has long offered luxury and high-end fashion for both men and women and can be credited with introducing Melbourne to the Japanese brands Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, and Belgian labels Dries Van Noten and Dirk Bikkembergs. It has also always kept things current with pieces from French and Italian powerhouses Jean Paul Gaultier and Dolce & Gabbana.

“When it opened, there was nothing like this in Melbourne. It was very European, very Milan-looking,” manager and buyer of 20 years Sam Hussein tells Broadsheet.

“Concrete iron work, a stunning, beautiful building with lead-light windows. They are hard to find in Melbourne at the moment with the pulling down of old buildings.”

While Cose Ipanema has been in its current city location for 25 years, it has been a resident of the CBD for over 40.

“Owner Tony Da Silva started at the top of Bourke Street, then moved to the Block Arcade, then the Hyatt” before moving to the store’s current location on Collins Street.

“With high rent and being one of the small fish in the sea, it forces you to move on.”

Cose Ipanema will consolidate stock at its Toorak Road store, which will remain open.

Before its official closure on February 24, the store is clearing archived stock as well as current collections and is offering up to 90 per cent off.

coseipanema.com

Using Your Phone to Pay for Public Transport in Melbourne May Be Closer Than You Think

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Melbourne commuters could be using their phones to pay for tram, train and bus rides, with the technology to be trialled on trams later this year, the Andrews government has announced.

Myki machines – updated in 2017 – already include the technology to read smartphones, making a “tap and go” system, similar to those used in cities such as London, easy to implement.

“Last year we upgraded all myki vending machines to feature contactless payment to make it easier and quicker to top up your myki,” public transport minister Jacinta Allan said in a statement.

The trial will begin on tram routes 11, 86 or 96, according to the Herald Sun.

Premier Daniel Andrews described the change as a “logical extension” of the current system.

“Whether it’s a Fitbit or a handheld phone … the technology is becoming much more available so that you don’t need a card,” he told media. “You’ll be able to touch on and off using the devices you carry with you every single day.”

There are currently more than 15 million active mykis in circulation, but no plans to phase out the cards just yet.

“The myki system remains, myki cards will remain because … not everybody has got a smartphone,” Andrews said.

The Herald Sun also reports a new app is in the works that would reduce the current 90-minute gap between updating your myki account online and seeing the money hit your card.

Myki’s mobile usability has been a longtime headache for users. Last year software designer and developer Long Zheng launched an unofficial – and free – myki app that allows you to top up and check your transaction and commuting history on your phone. While commuters do have access to the myki website on their phones at present, there was no dedicated app to streamline the top-up process before Zheng launched Mypal in 2017.

Pilates in Its Original Form at a New Studio in Fitzroy North

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Nick Psarros is a former strength and conditioning coach at The Australian Ballet School. His new Pilates studio, The Movement Refinery, is focused on the traditional exercises created by Joseph Pilates almost a century ago, with no dilution.

“We work the body entirely,” Psarros says of the vigorous and athletic classes.

Classical Pilates strengthens and stretches the torso, arms and legs with each movement in a specific sequence that warms, challenges and then cools the body. As with more contemporary interpretations of Pilates (which don’t involve performing exercises in a special order, and position the pelvis differently), benefits of the traditional method include improved posture, coordination and body control; stress relief; and improved balance.

“[Other Pilates studios are] either too clinical or too fitness-oriented,” Psarros says. “I wanted to create a space for Melbourne to fall in love with classical Pilates.”

“It aims to get the client working independently [so] that they know the work out, they know where it’s going [and] they know how to move their bodies,” he adds. “It’s really important for a classical Pilates teacher that we honour the tradition so that if [our] client went to a studio in Paris [they] could attend a French-speaking class but understand the work.”

Equipment such as reformers and towers (a wall apparatus) come from New York’s Pilates Designs by Basil. Classes range from beginner level to advanced, and alongside Pilates the studio offers seasonal sessions in barre and yoga.

“We’re also about to introduce the Wunda-chair class,” Psarros says. The Wunda chair is a traditional Pilates apparatus used to lengthen the spine and improve balance.

Prints by artist Amelia Wilson hang on the walls, and fresh-cut flowers, plants and scented candles are spread throughout the space.

“It creates a great environment for exercise, a type of exercise that really is about the pursuit of the mind-body connection,” Psarros says. “Pilates is about that marriage of physical and mental mastery.

“It’s not supposed to be a meditation exercise; it’s meditation through exercise.”

Furniture comes from Collingwood maker Redfox & Wilcox and Psarros installed a custom plywood floor.

“The handmade equipment I ordered from New York is in this really amazing colour, it’s called Fjord Blue,” he adds. “It’s a really gorgeous crystalline blue which instantly sets people at ease.”

Piedimonte’s to Be Demolished, Rebuilt in Proposed $100 Million Redevelopment

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North Fitzroy’s almost 60-year-old European supermarket, Piedimonte’s, will be knocked down as part of a $100 million redevelopment if an August submission by owners Sam and Mal Piedimonte is approved. The pair has proposed demolishing the existing building to make way for a new supermarket and 89 apartments.

The Piedimontes have worked with Peddle Thorp Architects, heritage consultant Peter Lovell and urban designer Mark Sheppard on the design, which includes a five storey and seven-storey building linked by a second-floor walkway.

The L-shaped site would cover 27 to 45 Best Street and 102 to 114 Scotchmer Street, encompassing the current Piedimonte’s site and several adjacent shops the family also owns. While the facades of heritage buildings along the strip would be maintained, the supermarket’s facade – with its famous bold red lettering – is not currently heritage listed.

“The idea is really to reinstate [Piedimonte’s] facade,” says Peddle Thorp director Peter Brook. “It would be possible to keep it but we’re not aware of any heritage reason to do that.

“Essentially it would look exceedingly similar, except being a new building – all of the heritage buildings would be retained, renovated and restored.”

The new supermarket would feature a mezzanine level similar to the existing building’s; a new bottle shop; and more room for storage and operations. The site would be double the size of the current complex.

The apartment plans include 23 one-bedders, 62 two-bedders and four three-bedders. A three-level basement car park would have room for 164 cars and 86 bicycles, reducing the “impact on the surrounding parking problems in the resident area,” Brook says.

“The planning, the detail and the operation of the supermarket would be upgraded in almost every respect,” he says. “They want to do something that reinforces the character of the area, which I suppose is the debate that will unfold from here.

“It’s a very intense community with a strong bond … If you propose changes you get a lot of debate.”

The supermarket began as a small deli in 1958, run by Sam and Mal Piedimonte’s late mother Anna. It’s been open seven days a week ever since, its shelves packed full of packets of rigatoni, tubs of olives, kilos of meat and fresh produce – regulars know the seasonal leaning tower of Christmas panettone well.

“We’re in a process of consulting the local community, hearing people’s opinions, and we are going to absorb those opinions in and develop the design as a result of that consultation,” Brook says.

In the meantime, prepare to say arrivederci to the store’s orange ‘70s cafe chairs and salami-like floor tiles.

The supermarket plans to remain open during any construction period.

Sparkly Bear Cinemas is Coming to Brunswick

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A new 10-screen cinema and dining precinct will arrive in Weston Street, Brunswick by 2020.

Sparkly Bear – adopted from the locals’ nickname for the nearby Barkly Square shopping centre – will be the fourth cinema from the team behind the Classic, Lido and Cameo Cinemas in Elsternwick, Hawthorn and Belgrave respectively.

Film lovers can expect rooftop screenings during summer. Both new releases and beloved classics will be played throughout the year.

A live performance space for local artists including musicians and comedians will also feature inside the repurposed industrial building.

Although the tenants are yet to be locked in, dining options will focus on small-scale Victorian producers and makers.

Sparkly Bear is due to open by 2020 at 1–5 Weston Street, Brunswick.

Coming Soon: The Village Belle Hotel’s New Chapter

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Once a depot for the first local trams, St Kilda’s heritage-listed Village Belle Hotel will reopen its doors in time for summer after a $15 million redevelopment.

“We’ve been there 11 years now but there’s been a pub there since 1855 and the current building since 1891,” owner David Shannon says. “When we first closed it down for the renovations there was a lot of fear that it would be bulldozed like so many other grand hotels – it’s never been on our radar.”

“We always wanted it to be the hotel of St Kilda – somewhere everybody feels comfortable dropping in on the way home from work for a couple of beers.”

Shannon owns the two-storey pub with his brother Stephen, Mark Burnett and Brett Cuthbert.

Since it opened, the pub has been a stomping ground for some of Melbourne’s most storied characters, including gangster Squizzy Taylor. Keen to preserve that history and character, the owners – together with Technē architects – worked with a heritage consultant to preserve and reinstate important historical features, such as decorative ceiling cornices.

“Over the past 120-odd years a lot of it has fallen or been taken down and it’s all been restored to its former glory of 1891,” says David Shannon.

The new look merges old and new. So alongside Victorian-era ornamentation you’ll find concrete, glass and custom-made steel-framed windows.

“We knew what we wanted,” Shannon says. “Being St Kilda especially, we wanted a large beer garden … We also wanted to be able to use it all year round.”

The beer garden has been designed to work in summer and winter, with glazed walls and a retractable roof.

“Even if the roof and the front are all closed, you feel like you’re outside. There’s fully grown trees out there,” says Shannon. “You really do get the impression that you’re in a beer garden. With Melbourne’s weather – like, it just started to rain before – just close it up and carry on.”

Another bar on the mezzanine level overlooks Acland Street and can be booked for private events. The public bar will host live music on the weekends, and is equipped with TVs and a TAB.

Mathew Macartney, the former executive chef of Chateau Yering and The Lake House, is running the kitchen. His menu includes whole fish with almond, caper and burnt-butter sauce alongside chicken parmas.

“Coming from fine dining, Matt’s got a lot of pizzazz,” Shannon says. “We’ll have your parmigiana and steaks, with his sort-of edginess to everything.

“Most of his suppliers are local producers, with a lot of stuff from the Yarra Valley.”

The Village Belle reopens in December.

Two break-ins in 12 months calls for council action

John
John Caio at the front of the store he has called home for 39 years. Photo source: Stephanie Vigilante

Since the doors first opened at Impulse Fashions 39 years ago, retailer John Caio has shared many milestones with customers, staff and family.

His store in the Puckle St Precinct has celebrated everything from the birth of his grandchildren, to the introduction of Havaianas and the many store birthday celebrations that are never shy from an outright party.

Some of the more somber milestones have also occurred in that time, such as the 10 break-ins he has experienced.

“Most incidences are ‘snatch-and-grab,’” says Caio.

However, as a road-facing shop front, many of the stores break-ins have also been a result of car ramming through the front window.

In the past 12 months, there have been two incidents of this nature and for many years Caio has pushed the council to implement bollards at the front of the shop for prevention.

“[Larger retailers] have bollards at every window and yet I have pushed the council for years.”

Only since his most recent incident – where police became involved, has the council finally approved the installation.

“I still have to wait until the end of financial year for the councils budget to include the new bollards.”

In the meantime, Caio has implemented his own means of protection against these crimes by installing a new trellis door behind the front window.

For Caio, the days after a break in means lower levels of trading as stock needs to be accounted for and clean ups occur whilst they try to operate as normal.

“If nothing is stolen, you go back to normal,” says the shop owner.

Previous to the most recent two incidents, Impulse Fashions hasn’t been broken into for 10 years.

Property and deception offences remain a significant issue in the Moonee Valley community with the highest crime rate compared to all other criminal offences.

Retailers are urged to ensure appropriate insurance and monitored CCTV is installed to help prevent these crimes.