Any Sydney property agent or developer will tell you that landing the signature of one of the Fratelli Paradiso crew for a new restaurant is the holy grail, so the opening of Lola's L1 in July will be rarer than a steakhouse without wagyu.
Marco Ambrosino, co-owner of the Potts Point institution, admits he and his partners have fielded about 100 offers for new sites for Fratelli Paradiso spin-offs over the years, with the tiny 10 William Street in Paddington being a rare example.
While he'll remain an active member of the Fratelli Paradiso band, Ambrosino will open Lola's L1 as a sideline act with Manny Spinola, the veteran restaurateur with a stable of Sydney venues including the Tea Room at QVB. The duo has nabbed the Bondi Beach site where Panama House closed last year.
"It was time for me to do something different. Manny was a big reason [for pursuing the project]. I live in Bondi and love Bondi. There are a lot of good places already, but I want to do something there with a different feel," Ambrosino says. The Campbell Parade venue's ocean views were a bonus.
Lola's L1 will have a strong bar program and the food will lean heavily on the grill with a Mediterranean menu sweeping Portugal, Spain, Italy and a touch of Greece.
Spinola tells Good Food the pair has discussed the industry and venue ideas for years.
"Marco and I have really similar philosophies about hospitality and restaurants, and we both love Bondi."