Catching a movie at the Westgarth, Northcote will become an even better idea when Primo, a new pizza and soft-serve place, opens across the road next month. It’s a venture from Loren McBride, who is behind neighbouring cafe Barry, and her husband Jamie McBride, who co-founded Mammoth and Touchwood. New partners Jemma Richards and Iza Dawkins of Shawcross Pizza are also on board.
While the menu remains firmly under wraps, it’s definitely Italo-focused – a pizza joint inspired by spots in LA and New York. “Pizza’s an emotional food, you know?” says Jamie. “I’ve never worked with something that people have such strong opinions about.”
What’s certain is that Primo will be determinedly locavore; everything on the menu will be sourced from Australia. “We’ll be using 100 per cent local ingredients. If it’s not in season … it won’t be on the menu,” says Jamie. “We just really want to minimise our footprint. It’s a pretty hard conversation for a restaurant or a cafe [to have]. But with a pizza menu, it’s something that’s really easy to do, and really fun.”
There’ll also be a range of Mediterranean-inspired soft serve. The machine will twirl out flavours such as tiramisu; panettone; and olive oil and amaretto. “We’re going to play a lot with the soft-serve menu,” says Jamie.