Hello Falco: the Bar Liberty gang is opening a bakery on Smith Street

Published on 24 September 2019

Photo: Falco co-owners Manu Potoi, Christine Tran, Michael Bascetta and Casey Wall (credit: Jana Langhorst)

New restaurants are wonderful things, but a great new bakery? That’s a life-changer. With that in mind the residents of Collingwood have much to celebrate with the imminent arrival, in early November, of Falco, a new bakery from the team behind Bar Liberty and Capitano. 

On the hallowed ground where they ran the great Rockwell & Sons, Michael Bascetta, Manu Potoi and Casey Wall are collaborating with baker and fellow co-owner Christine Tran to open a bakery that combines the influences of the great bakeries of the world with a distinctive Smith Street sensibility.

Expect things with a personal, small-batch touch, from the sourdough and country loaves to the cardamom buns and vegan chocolate brownies. The espresso bar element is complemented by an eat-in space for 20 happy punters. Pies, sandwiches and house-made jams bolster the offer into meal territory (we’re already developing an appetite for the egg and cheese sourdough muffins).

"I spent two years travelling and staging across Europe and the US, and it was a huge learning curve for me," says Tran "The different styles of bread and baking, but also things like the regional variations in flour and how much it determines the end product."

Tran’s dough-throwing credentials are substantial. She was senior baker at Tivoli Road Bakery, worked for a year at San Francisco landmark Tartine, and of late has been on tools at Loafer in Fitzroy North. Her time at these establishments has also deepened her interest in doing things the environmentally responsible way. Falco’s flour is organic, milled by Wholegrain, the chocolate is from Hunted & Gathered and Birdsnake, while its milk comes from just over the hill at St David’s Dairy. Oh yeah, and the coffee will be roasted by team Falco.

Now that’s our kind of locavorism.

Falco Bakery opens at 288 Smith St, Collingwood, in early November. Follow its progress at falcobakery.com and @falcobakery.