The North Carlton premises which specialist Italian food and alcohol importer Enoteca Sileno called home for 22 years until 2004 is for sale.
The wine coloured dairy-turned-shop at 21-23 Amess Street has been occupied as a storage facility since the family business relocated to a larger premises elsewhere in the suburb at 920 Lygon Street.
It has been owned by the family since the 1950s.
Despite its commercial property past, the inner north Melbourne property occupies a Residential zoned plot, so can only be considered by buyers for a home conversion.
Presently the fit out is much the same as it was when the store was trading, with exposed bricks, storage shelves, artwork and even tasting tables beside bottles of wine.
Business branding is still displayed on the exterior wall and door.
Enoteca Sileno is renowned as the first Australian wholesaler to focus on selling Italian wines.
Established by Luigi “Gino” Di Santo, who migrated to Australia in 1952, the business is also thought to be the first in the country to use the word Enoteca – which is Italian for a wine-focused repository.
Mr Di Santo is also credited with importing the first Christmas Panettone cakes to the country in 1955, around the same time he installed Melbourne’s first espresso machines, at Café Lexington, in Exhibition Street, and Sydney’s David Jones department store.
Now run by his daughter and her husband, Enoteca Sileno has diversified – with cooking classes and a takeaway food service. It also stocks olive oil, craft beer.