A New Chapter At The Hardware Club

A Melbourne institution gets a new lease of life in time for summer

Nine-years after departing the fair town of Verona for Melbourne, childhood friends Nicola Dusi (D.O.C Pizzeria, Baby Pizza, Chin Chin) and Andrea Ceriani (+39 Pizzeria) are set to open their first restaurant together – The Hardware Club, which will open on Wednesday, 30 October.


Andrea Ceriani and Nicola Dusi

Located on the first floor of Hardware House at 43 Hardware Lane, the name pays homage to the site’s history as a social club for hardware trade members in the 1920s, with the new restaurant occupying the space that was most recently the much-loved Ciao Pizza Napoli.


Head Chef Dusi believes food should be “accessible, understandable and craveable”. While an admirer of talented chefs who push boundaries, Dusi’s ambition at The Hardware Club is to create food that is nurturing rather than trailblazing, “a place for those in-the-know looking for a European and Italian dining experience in a relaxed space”. 


In taking over the location of the family-owned Ciao Pizza Napoli, the new restaurateurs spent time getting to know the clientele, their likes and dislikes and what they would like to see carried on, resulting in the treasured traditional pizza recipes being kept on the menu during lunch service, while a more extensive dinner menu will be introduced in the evening. 


Italian classics will be presented with a contemporary, refined take, with distinct lunch and dinner menus on offer. Highlights will include:


Roasted marrow bones with salsa verde
Osso buco ravioli Milanese with saffron, garlic, lemon, parsley
Chianti-style raw beef with lemon, parmigiano, extra virgin, olives, pesto
Italian fennel & chilli sausage wheel with silverbeet and chilli oil
Octopus “Luciana” with paccheri pasta and smoked mozzarella
Ricotta gnocchi, fresh broad beans and vignarola of spring veggies

 Osso buco ravioli Milanese with saffron, garlic, lemon, parsley

Italian fennel and chilli sausage wheel, silverbeet, chilli oil

Ricotta gnocchi, fresh broad beans and vignarola of spring veggies

The drinks list at The Hardware Club presents Australian and Italian wines and beers, and a selection of Italian cocktails. Masi Campofiorin, Valpolicella Classico, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Organic Negroamaro display the diverse range in Italian wines, while Select Spritz Veneziano, Amaro Montenegro and Tonic and Negronis feature on the cocktail list.


The design direction memorialises the history of Hardware House. Like the culinary offering, the interiors are approachable, evoking nostalgia and familiarity. Diners are welcomed into the space with an intimate 16-seat bar that overlooks Hardware Lane, making it the perfect spot to grab drinks while watching the laneway come to life. Further inside, the dining area presents itself as the neighbourhood Italian eatery. A traditional oven takes pride of place, while elements of a quintessential 80s Italian household add warmth to the space.


The Hardware Club seats 65 people, with spaces suited for both small and large groups and opens on Wednesday, 30 October 2019.


The Hardware Club

Address: 43 Hardware Ln, Melbourne


Opening hours: Daily, Lunch 12pm–3pm; Dinner 5.30pm till late

Social media: @thehardwareclub_


Images: Josh Robenstone