The refurbished entrance to Five Dock Bowling Club, which is not operating as a traditional club. Picture: Grant Jones

The revived Five Dock Bowling Club, leased to a private operator by the City of Canada Bay, is set to undergo a rebrand after confusion about the status of the newly-opened venue. Owner-operator Pierre Moio admitted to Club Management that there had been some confusion surrounding the brand and a name change would likely remove the word Club from the venue as it is no longer a registered club.

The inner-Sydney club’s in-house Italian restaurant, Skinny Tony’s, was the subject of national media debate after it was revealed a full chicken schnitzel with two sides would set diners back $45. While the chicken schnitzel itself is $28.90, fries are an extra $6.90 with salad or mashed potato adding an extra $8.90 each.

After the restaurant opened on February 14, some locals were not impressed with the price point but that hasn’t done anything to dampen the venue’s popularity, with the restaurant now booked out on weekends.

Moio said some had been surprised because they expected bowling club food at club prices. Keeping the name Five Dock Bowling Club was a reference to the venue’s location “not to denote the offering”, he told The Daily Telegraph. He declined to further discuss the issue with Club Management as he said he was in an emergency meeting with council to discuss the rebranding.

“We are not a registered club. We don’t have poker machines, we are not subsidised by gambling. We are a private restaurant,” he had earlier told the Telegraph. “There are enough places offering $15 meals nearby. We made a conscious choice to be different and maybe that attracts a new market.”

The Moio family had invested heavily in the venue, enduring increasing costs and significant building delays at the site which had sat vacant for several years. They have also secured Italian chef Giuseppe Santoro, president of the Italian Pizza Makers Federation and winner of the 2022 Pizza Awards in Calabria, to run the kitchen.

Five Dock Bowling Club had been taken over by Tigers Five Dock, operated by Balmain Leagues Club, before the venue was shuttered.

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