The team from casual fine diner Ramblr are spinning the long, skinny Chapel Street site into Leo's by the Slice, with a takeaway joint at the front, and a hidden bar out the back.
Two years after opening their contemporary South Yarra restaurant, and less than four months after opening retro-Italian Leonardo's Pizza Palace in Carlton, Nick Stanton, Guy Bentley, Mark Catsburg and Jon Harper have decided to rejig Ramblr.
Stanton will spend the next two weeks in Los Angeles and New York City seeking design inspiration from pizza places like West Hollywood's Jones and Rubirosa "that have been there forever and are still super fun to go to".
At Leo's, the plan is to have booths at the front with seating limited to 10 or 12, and a choice of four or five pizzas by the slice and several freshly made salads. Stanton will revise the dough recipe for the Leo's pies.
Stage two will be a small bar, seating for 15 or 20, and a few off-menu bar snacks such as oysters and a changing pasta dish. Minimal intervention wines and cocktails based on American bourbon and whiskey will dominate Bentley's drinks list.
Building will begin in April and Leo's By the Slice is expected to open at 363 Chapel Street, South Yarra, in late May. The bar will follow a few weeks later.