Childhood friends-turned-business partners Frankie Dicerto and Matthew Laurito bonded over food and music at an early age. Aye Frank, their new cafe-meets-recording studio, combines these passions.
The stripped-back Grange Road space with polished boards and casual seating was once two shops: a laundromat and Buk Buk Southern Hot Chicken. After initially purchasing the laundromat, the pair expanded next door to incorporate a recording studio.
Dicerto is also known as rapper Frankie D, so a recording space where creatives can also grab something to eat was a dream scenario. The studio is now available to hire for podcast and music sessions, and the owners are happy to show newcomers how to use the equipment.
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The food menu features a punchy selection of seven panini and sandwiches with bread baked in-house and generous fillings. The combinations were designed by the owners with head chef Rhiannon Mercurio (formerly of Osteria Oggi, Pink Moon Saloon). “Think traditional Italian panini … [with] a little bit of our upbringing sprinkled in,” Dicerto says.
Standouts include the spicy ’nduja toasted with leg ham, scamorza cheese, eggplant and pickled green chilli. You’ll find more toasties, including classic ham and cheese lifted with pickled green tomato and sopressa with provolone and black garlic olivada spread; or fresh rolls such as mortadella with creamy stracciatella and pistachio pesto, or porchetta with fontina, roasted peppers and rocket.
Pair the panini with batch brew or espresso from local roasters Willow Bend or a splash of natural-leaning wine, plus a baked treat courtesy of Stepney’s Prove Patisserie. That's lunch (and maybe the next hit record) sorted. There’s even a rack of clothing where customers can pick up merch and other clothing.
“[We’re about the] little things done right ¬– good olive oil, salt and pepper, quality ingredients,” says Dicerto. “We’ve hit the ground running and got a lot of good feedback and support.”
1/254 Grange Road, Flinders Park
(08) 8336 1886
Mon to Sat 6.45am–3pm