Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Where restaurant identity will open latest drawcard

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Where restaurant identity will open latest drawcard

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'Everyone will be welcome': where Sunshine Coast restaurant baron will open latest drawcard

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Hospitality identity Tony Kelly is going to hit the beach to open his eighth dining attraction on the Sunshine Coast.

Mr Kelly is the driving force behind Rice Boi and Spero at the Wharf Mooloolaba, Miss May Sippy Downs, Market Bistro and Giddy Geisha at Maroochydore, Piggyback at Palmwoods and the Eudlo General Store.

He is now turning his attention to Bocca Italian, due to open in early June this year in the fast-emerging Bokarina Beach community.

Bocca Italian will front the ocean at 21 Kombi Street, on the ground floor of the Clark Group-constructed Seanna Residences.

It will seat up to 150 guests and include a 14-seat private dining room in what Mr Kelly describes as ‘refined casual’ dining experience.


Some of the offerings that will be available at Bocca Italian.

“We have some incredible local suppliers as well as traditional Italian providores from Melbourne and Brisbane, so will have a strong focus on fresh produce and iconic pasta dishes,” he said.

“There will also be stunning pizzas from the stone base Moretti pizza oven, which we have imported from Italy.

“This will be a restaurant where locals and visitors will come regardless of if they are celebrating a special occasion, or coming off the beach with sand between their toes.

“They will all be welcome with traditional Italian hospitality and stunning flavours you would expect to enjoy in any coastal Italian town.”

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Mr Kelly said he would also take a leaf from sister restaurant Market Bistro in Maroochydore by including a separate bottle shop next door.


“Market Wine Store is our very own family owned independent boutique bottle shop, which will stock an amazing range of local and imported wines, spirits and craft beers that customers can purchase and enjoy in the restaurant, or take home with some pizza or pasta.”

Market Bistro manager Luke Stringer, Tony Kelly and executive chef Harry Lilai.

Tony’s Market Bistro manager Luke Stringer and executive chef Harry Lilai will be business partners the driving forces behind Bocca Italian.

“We have built a great team at Market Bistro and we’ll certainly be leaning on Harry’s vast experience establishing and operating a number of renowned Italian and fine dining restaurants,” Mr Kelly said.

“These include the 250-seat Cecconi’s at Crown Casino in Melbourne, which he later opened in Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Greca at Howard Smith Wharfs, Menzies at Rialto, Byblos at Prahran, Baby in Richmond and the award winning Town Hall Hotel in Fitzroy.

“With his Italian background, Harry’s food is all about giving, his experience as a boy growing up with six siblings, an Italian mother and an Albanian father along with an enormous extended family have all influenced the professional side of his career and this shows through with the depth of flavours in the menu he has prepared.”


Bocca Italian will open seven days a week from 11.30am until late.

To book or for more information visit BoccaitalianSC on Facebook.