Roslyn Grundy

Johnny Di Francesco of 400 Gradi.
Johnny Di Francesco of 400 Gradi. Photo: Eddie Jim

Fresh from cleaning up at the World Pizza Championships in Italy comes news that Johnny Di Francesco will open a second 400 Gradi pizzeria at Crown.

Work has already begun on the restaurant, which is expected to open in July in the space previously occupied by Italian restaurant Giuseppe, Arnaldo & Sons. The new design will open up the formerly moody, tiled space, allowing in more light and making more use of the Yarra River views.

It will seat 300 people, with a pizza oven and open kitchen as key features of the design.

The menu will be based on 400 Gradi's Lygon Street menu, with some tweaks for the river promenade site.

Giuseppe, Arnaldo & Sons, which opened in 2008, was owned by two of Australia's best-known restaurateurs, Maurice Terzini and Robert Marchetti. It closed last August, reportedly after a dispute between the landlord, Crown, and the tenant.

Di Francesco's margherita won the specialita traditionale garantita (STG) pizza prize at the international competition, which attracted 600 entrants from 35 countries, including six from Australia.