I peered through the broken window at the derelict interior. The place looked like a bomb had hit it. The walls were broken. The ceiling was caving in. I could see the sky through the roof, and the debris..!
Crunching back on the glass that covered the asphalt, I looked at my watch. Six o’clock. Turning, I looked again at the For Sale or Lease! sign. Impulsively, I pulled my phone out of my pocket and dialled the number on the sign.
A man answered. ‘Yes?’ ‘Hi. I am enquiring about a warehouse for lease. Is it still available?’
The man didn’t say anything. Instead, he laughed. A disbelieving laugh that caught me totally off-guard.
I frowned; this was weird. ‘What’s so funny?’
The man gathered himself together, and apologised. He explained that the warehouse almost wasn’t available. The intended buyer had decided not to move ahead, and he had gotten the cool-off call less than an hour earlier.
A shiver ran up my spine.
This was it. I knew it the moment I looked at it. It was the reason why I couldn’t keep driving past, but instead turned around when I knew others were waiting on me. It’s why I’d walked to the front, gazed at the rubbish inside. It’s why I’d gotten excited at the crap in front of me, and could see only my vision.
I booked an inspection with this man for 9am the next day. Casting my gaze over the front of the property, it felt like it was already mine. Once I was back on the road, it felt like everything was falling into place. I could already see what it was going to become. Is this what they call destiny?
I remembered how, in 2010 I had fired up my first real pizza oven at home. How excited I was as I made and fired my own pizza. How, as the first pizza came out of that oven, I decided that I would love to do this a couple of days a week.
The hospitality industry was no stranger to me. I’d worked in my own, and in my family’s, since the age of 5. Afterwards I’d spent the 14 years building and growing my own graphic design agency. But my love for authentic, Napolitan pizza had kept a flame alive. My passions were equal, but that love for amazing pizza had never died.
These new premises, as broken down as they were, became in my mind the home of the Meccanica Group. Pizza Meccanica, Studio Meccanica, Meccanica Hair and Meccanica 69. All of my passions – pizza, cars, design, architecture, and fashion – all under one roof. How amazing it would be to see it come alive!
That dream has taken shape, sooner than I imagined. After five months of demolition, design and refit, Studio Meccanica was up and running. Then just 12 months later, which was a year of council battles, approvals, and licensing – blood, sweat and tears, you’re siting here, inside Pizza Meccanica, reading about how I turned it from a vision into a reality.
The journey has been both exciting and gruelling. It proved to me that with dedication and commitment to a vision, you can achieve anything. My dream began with a crazy idea, a stupid comment and a laugh. It came to life through hard work and perseverance.
And then, at the right time, everything fell into place.
I’m proud to be here serving you authentic Napolitan pizza, among passionate staff, in an environment like no other. Adelaide’s pizza culture has only just begun.
Welcome to Meccanica.
~ Stelio Birbas, Designer & Chief Meccanic