In 2006, Mr Gesualdi planned to redevelop the restaurant into a 10-12 level boutique project akin to London’s Sanderson Hotel. The project was to have been undertaken with a New York-based joint venture partner. Four years earlier, Mr Gesualdi paid CFM $3.7 million for the Flinders Lane building he tenanted as Rosati’s since the mid 1980s.
The restaurant’s relaxed fit-out was based on European cafes he admired, and its popularity boomed as neighbouring office skyscrapers 101 and 120 Collins Street were populated.
In 1988, a Kylie Minogue film clip for the single Got to be Certain was filmed at Rosati’s.
CFM sold 95 Flinders Lane and three surrounding properties with strict height limits designed to protect views of 101 Collins Street’s middle and upper level offices.
However another site abutting the landmark office, at 41 Exhibition Street, is not limited by a height restriction. That site, purchased by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects for $1.2 million in 1994, is now earmarked to become a 20-level strata office tower which will limit 101 Collins Street’s westerly views.