A ‘game changing’ new supermarket has opened in Sydney’s CBD boasting a dine-in restaurant, bar, wood fired pizzas and a walk-in cheese room alongside everyday grocery items.
Locali by Romeo’s IGA on George Street was unveiled on Monday as the independent grocer expands its offering in the city centre and takes up the fight to Coles and Woolworths, who both have multiple CBD stores.
The first-of-its-kind supermarket for Sydney comes as business confidence recovers and workers return to CBD offices in droves, with the threat of Covid subsiding.
Owner Joseph Romeo scoured the world to bring the concept of a combined supermarket and restaurant to the streets of Australia’s biggest city, inspired by the likes of Eataly in New York and Harrods in London.
Locali by Romeo’s IGA, which is a unique supermarket and restaurant offering in Sydney’s CBD, was unveiled on Monday, with model Natalie Roser (pictured) one of the first to check out the new concept
The IGA store, located on George Street, serves up pizzas from a wood fired oven located in-store
Alongside everyday grocery items, there is a dine-in restaurant and a bar within the supermarket (pictured)
The first-of-its kind store in Sydney also boasts a coffee shop, sushi bar, bakery and ready-to-go meals
Mr Romero described the idea of being able to have a restaurant meal in the same space as groceries as the future of supermarkets in Australia.
‘We’re changing the game. With the amount of different services we’re offering our customers, we’re evolving and catching up to what is happening in Europe and the US,’ he said.
‘We believe it will be well received. It’s a unique experience – there is nothing in the CBD that offers that one-stop-shop where you can get your fresh food and supermarket items but also dine-in at the same time.’
Shoppers can opt to dine-in or takeaway from the restaurant, which is led by chef Orazio D’Elia and includes Italian-inspired dishes such as zucchini flowers and fried calamari. The menu will also feature a fish of the day dish and premium-cut steak.
Chef Orazio D’Elia is pictured inside the Italian-inspired dine-in restaurant which is located within the IGA supermarket
Customers can browse through a walk-in cheese room as they complete their grocery shopping
There is a fully stocked delicatessen located within the supermarket featuring a wide range of cheeses
A sushi bar is one of the features of the supermarket, which has been described as a ‘game changer’ for Australia
Ingredients used in the restaurant are sold in-store.
There is also a coffee shop, sushi bar, salami and sandwich options, bakery, salad bar and ready-to-go-meals on site, along with a liquor department.
Model Natalie Roser, who was one of the first people through the doors on Monday, said the store reminded of her of food halls in the United States.
‘It reminds me of downtown LA, which I really like. It’s making me miss LA but in the same breath its satisfying my need for travelling,’ she said.
Customers can opt in dine-in or takeaway from the restaurant, with ingredients used in dishes available for purchase in-store
There’s normal groceries available at the supermarket
The supermarket and restaurant experience is billed as the future of grocery shopping in Australia
The Romeo brothers are pictured at the opening of the new Locali By Romeo’s IGA on Monday
‘It’s an amazing solution for busy people which I appreciate – you can come and have lunch and then grab your bananas on the way out.’
Mr Romero said the new supermarket will appeal to a diverse range of people, from ‘office workers looking for the best quality affordable restaurant and bar experience, to those after a quick and tasty bite to eat’ within reach of their groceries.
Local by Romeo’s IGA is located at 388 George Street and is open from 6am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 9pm Saturday to Sunday. The restaurant is open from 11am to 3pm and cafe from 6am every day.