In the vibrant city of Melbourne, there live three talented and hilarious friends named Joe, Carlo, and Andrew, who play the hilarious characters in Sooshi Mango of Johnny, Vince, and Sam. These three friends have a passion for comedy, but they also share a deep love for Italian culture and, of course, good food.
Joe, Carlo and Andrew decided to combine their love for comedy and Italian cuisine to create something truly unique – a restaurant that would not only serve mouth-watering Italian delicacies but also provide an unforgettable dining experience filled with laughter and joy and reminiscent of their culture and upbringing.
Please tell us about the collaboration and how you all came together to create this new and exciting Italian restaurant on Melbourne’s Lygon Street.
“Johnny, Vince, and Sam’s has been a long time in the making. We’ve gone into business with the best – Dani Zeini from Royal Stacks, Johnny Di Francesco from 400 Gradi, and Steven Ballerini from Cora. We’ve known each other for a long time, and the idea of a restaurant has always been thrown around, and the stars finally aligned to make it happen”, says Sooshi Mango!
What can we expect when we arrive? Is it modern, or traditional or can we expect the unexpected?
“As we like to say about Johnny, Vince, and Sam’s – our house, its’a your house. And it really is like our house, well the houses we grew up in anyway. But although the decor might be nostalgic and funny, this isn’t a gimmicky, themed restaurant. We like to joke around, but this restaurant is a serious offering with a delicious Italian food experience. That in itself, will possibly, be unexpected for a few people.”
What makes Lygon Street so special to Melbournians, and why did you personally choose this location for Johnny, Vince & Sam’s?
“We grew up on Lygon Street when it was in its heyday and our memories of it being the heartbeat of Melbourne’s Italian community are what makes this such a passion project. We’d love to see the area restored to its former glory and we were committed to homing the restaurant on Lygon Street for that reason.
You are all so popular and well-known in your own right, do you feel this will bring the buzz back to Carlton’s Lygon St & our beloved Italian community?
We hope so! The response so far has been incredible – more than we could have hoped for – and we’ll be thrilled if we can get people back to the area with the restaurant. We certainly brought the buzz back with the launch party so we’re hoping that excitement will continue.
Lastly, what’s on the menu?
We loved all the traditional dishes growing up – pasta and broccoli, gnocchi, spaghetti and meatballs, pizza, and an incredible cocktail list including a limoncello spritz and a tiramisu cocktail.
One thing we think everyone will agree on is a Johnny, Vince and Sam would say – it’s a farken a good!
Interview by Melinda Sullivan – Words by Sooshi Mango