Lygon Street’s loss is Johnston Street’s gain as the prince of panini hits the 3066.

Big news, sandwich fans: Stefanino Panino is coming to Collingwood. Schoolteacher turned sandwich czar Stef “Anino” Condello announced the news, saying that this Saturday 11 November would be his last day in operation at the shop’s Lygon Street address. “Although we are really sad to leave Brunswick East we are pumped to welcome you all to the new space in Collingwood,”

The precise detail on when the new spot will open is TBC – later this month is the word on the street – but we have a location: Collingwood Yards, the arts precinct that’s also home to a handful of other F&B outlets, Hope St Radio notable among them. Exciting new features of Stefanino Panino 2.0 include seating inside and out, and the possibility of espresso-based coffee.

The site a nice fit for a business that was founded very much along DIY, just-do-it lines. As he told MFWF earlier this year, Condello was transitioning out of full-time primary school teaching and working at landmark Carlton butchery Donati’s Fine Meats when he started thinking about uses for the vacant shopfront in the warehouse where his band, Big Yawn, was rehearsing. “My mates encouraged me to use it for some sort of food offering, knowing that my two true passions are music and food – how cool it would be to have both things under the one roof.”

Though Condello had scant professional experience in the sandwich world when he opened, his vision for “an authentic, reasonably priced lunch option to a portion of Lygon Street that previously had a servo as its only lunch-time option” quickly found a following when it opened in July 2022.

He and his mum, Diana, could barely keep up with demand at first, and it was all they could do not to sell out of the likes of the Bologna (mortadella, stracciatella, pickled peppers, olives) and the Calabrese (capocollo, ’nduja, provolone, roasted peppers) before lunchtime.

It’s been a wild ride so far, but not without its rewards. I’m proud to be the place where people first try and enjoy seemingly intimidating salumi such as presswurst, coppa, mortadella and the like,” says Condello – and Collingwood is ripe for many potential new converts.

Stefanino Panino, 255 Lygon St, Brunswick East, open 10am till sold out Tue-Fri and 11am till sold out Sat, @stefanino.panino