Il Bacaro and Sarti owner Joe Mammone opened his new restaurant, Bar Carolina, in South Yarra last year. Now the restaurateur is expanding outward and upward at his Toorak Road site.

Mammone’s landlord provided him the neighbouring property, rent free, to use as an office while Bar Carolina was finding its feet. But the time came for Mammone to start paying rent, so he thought why not open a cafe in the space to service the daytime needs of his Carolina patrons.

“The locals have been pestering us to open for breakfast … so we thought why don’t we just poke a hole through the wall and use the front part of the shop as a cafe,” Mammone tells Broadsheet.

Named Cantina Carolina, the 30-person cafe will take its inspiration from classic Italian espresso bars.

“I’m not going to be having eggs, sunny side up or scrambled, let’s put it that way,” says Mammone of the menu. Instead there’ll be classic Italian bread and pastries such as brioche, piadina and bombolini.

With expansion on the brain, Mammone has also decided to open a cocktail and wine bar upstairs from Bar Carolina tentatively titled Tetto (“roof” in Italian).

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Both spaces will be designed by Chris Connell, who handled the fit-out at Bar Carolina. Connell will carry the Bar Carolina aesthetic over to Cantina Catalina. Upstairs though, the plan is for a sophisticated space featuring a tiled bar, velvet banquettes and a terrazzo floor, as well as a terrace that can accommodate around 40 people.

“All these hipster bars, these prohibition style bars – they’ve been done. We want to create a really European feel.”

Cantina Carolina and Tetto are scheduled to open in late September.