It's not really possible to have a conversation about Sydney without mentioning exorbitant property prices, rising rent, impossible-to-find parking and mind-numbing traffic. So the fact that Parramatta is shaping up to be Sydney's next big CBD shouldn't surprise anyone living in this beautiful-but-crowded harbour city.
And even though developments go up all the time, we couldn't help but be thrilled to learn that everyone's favourite Italian providore, Salt Meats Cheese is setting up shop in a new complex in Parramatta. As the first commercial tenant for the upcoming residential and retail precinct West Village, their addition to the 200-strong apartment complex is another step towards putting Parramatta on Sydney's food map. Already home to some of Sydney's favourite franchises like Jamie's Italian Trattoria, Bourke Street Bakery and Gelato Messina, Salt Meats Cheese will be in fine foodie company.
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The Sydney-based providore are enjoying rapid expansion at the moment, and have added to their portfolio with a freshly opened Mosman store, a venue coming to Drummoyne in September and an exciting new foray in Queensland's Surfers Paradise coming in July 2015. And even though the West Village isn't scheduled to start building until next year (for a late 2018 opening) - it's got some extremely cool features.
"We're going to have a pizzeria, with wood-fired pizzas, plus the retail part and a wine bar, explains Salt Meats Cheese director Stefano de Blasi. "It's a mix of what we do in Alexandria and what we do in Mosman. We really want to focus on people living in the tower," he adds. "There will be lots of customers coming down every day - [the setup will be] similar to what we do in Mosman but with a bigger offering." Describing the new development as extremely high-tech, de Blasi says that residents will be able to order direct from their apartments upstairs and score delivery - surely a godsend for busy or couch potato types. Who wouldn't want cheese and prosciutto delivered to their door?
While Parramatta is looking like the next frontier not just for Sydney's gourmands, cheaper retail space and less traffic are set to turn the Western region into the next business CBD. And with Salt Meats Cheese in place, it looks like West Village will be one destination to watch out for. You heard it here first.