Melbourne chef Guy Grossi loses his temper over plan to open a drug injection room across from his restaurant
- Guy Grossi speaks out against the injection room
- He says the suggested location could ruin the city.
- You fear for the safety of your staff and guests
One of Australia’s best-known restaurateurs has pleaded that a drug-safe injection room not be located directly opposite his famous restaurant.
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Guy Grossi’s Florentine restaurant is a venerable Melbourne culinary institution, but he fears for its future if the Victorian government places the injection room in the suggested location of the Salvation Army building on Bourke Street.
Mr. Grossi said that putting the city’s second injection center there “will impact my business in many different ways.”
“First of all, I am deeply concerned for the safety of my team,” he told Sunrise host Matt Shirvington on Tuesday morning.
“I have pastry chefs and bakers who come into town very early in the morning, so they are still dealing with last night’s leftovers.
Melbourne restaurateur Guy Grossi has spoken out against the possibility of a secure drug injection center being located opposite his restaurant in central Melbourne.
‘We have people who close very late at night. I am concerned about your safety and I am concerned about the reputation of the area and our business.
“I am also very, very concerned about the guests who come and have to travel to the restaurant to dine here and what they will see outside.
‘It’s certainly not going to be conducive to sitting outside on a beautiful Melbourne day and having a latte or delicious pasta, is it?’
Grossi said Melbourne’s first medically supervised injection room, located just two kilometers from the CBD, had “disordered” the North Richmond area and he feared a second would do the same.
“This is a theater district,” he said.
“There are restaurants, cafes, shops, young children get off the trams to go to the shops and theatres, and we believe that another injection room across the street will only add to the crime problem and bring an element of unpleasantness and inappropriate behavior to the area.”
He called on the state government to preserve the “integrity of the compound.”
Mr. Grossi believes an injection center will ‘spoil’ the city as it has North Richmond (a scene near downtown North Richmond is pictured)
‘We’re sorry to have something like this virtually on the steps of [Victoria’s] Parliament House really isn’t the right place for it,’ he said.
Grossi and other local businessmen have written an open letter to the Labor government of Daniel Andrews to express their opposition to an injection room in the city.
‘I think the consideration should be somewhere where there is very little impact to the broader community,” Mr. Grossi said.
“We have to take care of the whole community, not just a part of it.”
His stance has also been endorsed by Police Association Secretary Wayne Gatt.
“The police are on their knees with regard to resources,” he said.
‘We’re feeling that in the CBD. We have protests almost every week, we have to keep the community safe from violent incidents.
The government of Daniel Andrews is deciding on the location of a second secure drug injection room (Pictured, North Richmond room)
There is a lot to do in the city. When you have tourists, visitors and residents, you don’t need an additional drug facility in the city, occupying units for hours on end.’
North Richmond’s medically supervised injection room became a permanent facility earlier this year despite being located near an elementary school and facing much opposition from the community.
The state government has reported that a decision on the location of a second injection room will be made next week.