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Yarra River Business Association

Looking for the reset button for river businesses
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Businesses in Southbank

15 May 2012

The evolution of Evolve

With the approval of developments a regular occurrence in Southbank, the real estate market is as competitive as ever.

Evolve Real Estate is one agency which has established itself on the ground in Southbank, with its central Queensbridge St location and knowledge of the area.

Evolve knows exactly what the rapid growth means to the real estate market in the area and is here to help others understand.

Principal Gary Cakir says the development equates to exciting times for the region, for various reasons.

“The growth demonstrates a clear vision by planning departments to create an urban atmosphere similar to many high-density suburbs overseas. The developments stimulate our economy, create jobs, and also help to develop a hive of activity within the region, something which I think is lacking in parts of Southbank,” Mr Cakir said.

He said that in real estate terms it meant that capital growth was slightly slower (because supply is always there), but the positives far outweighed the negatives, adding: “Being a boutique building is advantageous.”

“I would advise people who are entering the market to research the building, it’s history and if neighbouring sites have the possibility of blocking their view,” Mr Cakir says.

And it is Evolve’s extensive local knowledge that has helped position it as the perfect real estate to deal with.

“We cater for a whole range of property services, from off the plan sales, where we have access to nearly every new residential development in Melbourne, along with established apartments and suburban property, property management, conveyancing, financial services and overseas transactions,” Mr Cakir said.

“We are a one-stop real estate office, so anyone looking to purchase property in Southbank and Melbourne won’t need to look further,” Mr Cakir said.

Mr Cakir believes in Southbank and that its current growth makes it a great place to be.

“What is exciting about Southbank is the amount of quality new developments on offer. Many of these will prove to be very significant in terms of shaping the cityscape of Melbourne.”

If you have any real estate-related questions or want to know more about Evolve, give the office a call on 9690 8800 or check out its website www.evolverealestate.com.au

 

YRBA is for all business

The Yarra River Business Association (YRBA) is the one thing all Southbank based businesses should have in common. The group is set up to assist with the marketing of the area and is a great opportunity to get any business put onto the local and national map.

The group executive officer Tim Bracher has been with the association since its inception in 1998. He agrees that the YRBA really is opening to all.

“We say that any person or business with an interest in, on, or concerning the river and its banks will find benefit in being part of the association,” Mr Bracher said.

Mr Bracher also said that the group had a “fairly loose jurisdiction because fixed boundaries are quite artificial when you’re involved in the work we do.”

“We have a relationship with the Southbank Residents Association and we align with much of what that group is trying to achieve for their community. We also have an affinity with the Yarra River Keepers Association, because they are the watchdog of river health, which is the lifeblood of our tourism product,” Mr Bracher explained.

The group helps local businesses in many ways, from basic marketing to a deeper understanding about the issues facing the precinct.

“The benefits are not just tangible things, such as featuring in our very popular website www.yarrariver.info or in the Discover Melbourne’s Waterfront brochure, but also in being plugged into the issues and opportunities of the precinct,” Mr Bracher said.

The association recently released an “Issues and opportunity” paper, available to members.

“Our executive committee has regular lunches with stakeholders important to the river and last year at lunches with Minister Asher and Lord Mayor Doyle it became apparent that we needed to better articulate the problems we are facing in the precinct,” Mr Bracher said.

“We have already had break-throughs on some issues and the paper will heavily inform the preparation of the Association’s business Plan for 2013-2016,” he added.

The YRBA already has 140 members and if you’d like your business to add to this already strong association check out the website www.yarrariver.info for more.

 

Take a taste tour of Spain at South Wharf

In the Spanish city of Segovia, just north of Madrid, stands an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge.

Built late in the 1st Century, it is still a formidable sight, a must-see tourist destination and a tangible link between Spain’s past and present.

Past-meets-present is also a good description of the menu devised by Josep Espuga, the Spanish head chef at The Bohemian Bar & Restaurant in Southbank’s South Wharf.

With tapas and shared plates in vogue seemingly everywhere, Josep says his offerings capture both contemporary and traditional flavours of Spain.

“I want everyone who visits The Bohemian to experience the roots of Spanish food,” Josep said.

“Shared plates and tapas are popular now, but it is important to also taste the traditional dishes too.”

Josep is a native of Barcelona, capital of the Catalan region, and is dishing up favourites from all areas of the Iberian Peninsula.

“From the Basque country, I have pa amb tomaquet (toasted bread with garlic, tomato and extra virgin olive oil, $4) which is a traditional tapas,” he said.

“From Seville, we have pringa de cordero (slow cooked lamb in a toasted muffin with fig salad, $9.50). It is typical to Seville, but not well known here.

“One of our mains is cochinillo ($28.50), which is typical of Madrid and Segovia – where they are masters of cooking suckling pig. In Segovia, the chef cooks the whole suckling pig and slices it in front of the people, like a show. He uses a small blade, not a knife, because it is so tender.”

“At the Bohemian, we take off the skin and cook it separately until it is crisp like bacon. We slowly cook the whole pig for 14 hours, take out the bones and then insert the flesh back into the crispy skin and serve it with carrot ice-cream and seasoned vegetables such as beetroot. Yes carrot ice-cream! The pig is a heavy flavour, so the ice-cream gives balance.”

Josep has put his own stamp on the ubiquitous potato bravas tapas.

“Everyone is familiar with patatas bravas – it is fried potato with spices and sauces,” he said.

“It is good with beer or wine. But my bravas has what I call a cleaner taste.”

Forget the usual potato cubes smothered in sauce, Josep emerges from the kitchen with a serve of four potato cylinders sitting upright on a rustic slab of wood. Each cylinder has been hollowed and stuffed with spicy, diced tomato, and topped with a dollop of aioli and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

“We have tortillo ($6.50), in keeping with traditional dishes,” he said.

“But our lomo de cordero crujiente ($34) is special. We buy a whole lamb saddle, take off the loin, then we smoke the flap and hang it to dry in the cool-room so it is like bacon. This is sliced and wrapped around the lamb loin, keeping it moist. It is served with sliced pumpkin, dates and almonds.”  

Perfect with a glass of red – there are 40 varieties of Spanish wine to choose from.

The Bohemian is at 35 Dukes Walk, South Wharf, outside the DFO. Call 9682 0566 or visit www.thebohemian.com.au

 

Life in the fun lane at Kingpin Bowling

Question: What is a fun, healthy, safe sport that you can enjoy all year round, from the depths of winter to the heat of summer? Answer: Indoor bowling.

The music’s hot, the cocktails are chilled, and the lanes are full of laughter every day of the year at Kingpin Bowling, in Southbank.

Finding the correct bowling shoe size is a simple step … onto a mat of foot sizes at the foot of the serving counter.

“We have every shoe size from toddler to size 15,” says venue manager Ed Mountford.

“We cater for everyone. Parents can relax at the bar with a drink while the kids are playing bowls, or the latest arcade and video games.

“Families, school groups, office parties – we will look after everyone.”

Ed has a library of more than 1,000 music videos that play on 20 huge screens, as bowlers swing into party mode. Imagine, bowling a strike as Survivor belts out “Eye of the Tiger” ...

A recently installed photo system offers snapshots of you and your mates as you hurl that bowl with deadly accuracy at the ten pins (or side gutter).

The M9 Bar, which looks down over the complex, is available for exclusive functions.

“It’s popular with teams and clubs, birthdays, end-of-financial year functions, hens and bucks nights, and so on,” says Ed.

Kingpin offers school holiday packages and regular discounts, such as $10 bowling from 9pm to 2am every Tuesday.

“We also have combination packages, for bowls, the 40-person indoor laser skirmish and the Galactic Circus games arcade,” says Ed.

“We have the largest indoor interactive games centre in Australia.”

Overseeing the games section is Dennie Renessis, who admits he has one of the most enviable jobs going.

“When I was a little kid I dreamt of working at Timezone,” he says.

“I started here when I was 19, and now I’m 30 – and I’ve no intention of leaving!”

Dennie says the games are continually being updated and cost from 20 cents to $5 to play.

One of the favourites is the first-person shooter Mega Buck Hunter, but the most impressive is the FS 2000 “Cybercoaster”, where two people are strapped into an enclosed pod that lifts up and twists, spins and somersaults.

“They cost about $250,000 each and the first one was so popular, we had to get a second one,” Dennie says.

Most in demand are the games with prizes such as electric scooters and home theatre packages. Others offer tickets which are redeemed for prizes ranging from a bouncy ball to the latest Xbox unit and microwave ovens.

“And yes, you CAN win on those claw skill games – I have to refill the toys twice every week,” says Dennie with a smile.

Kingpin Bowling is open from 10am until late, every day of the year, on the ground floor of the Crown Entertainment Complex, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank. Call 13 2695 or visit www.kingpinbowling.com.au

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