Discover iBikes in Oakleigh
There’s a revolution happening in biking and Oakleigh is catching on.
While there is no point reinventing the wheel, there is, it seems, a great desire to change how we turn it.
The electric bike has stormed into the market in recent years with sales in Europe growing by about 40 per cent in the past five years.
And Aussies have begun to discover and adopt the trend – just ask Don Taylor who runs iBikes Australia on Chester Street in Oakleigh.
“We started to see an increase in sales in the last 12 months,” Mr Taylor said.
“People have begun to realise they can ride further. They see that they are great for commuting – you can ride to work and don’t need a shower when you get there. But you are still outside, getting your vitamin D and whatever amount of exercise you want – and beating the traffic.”
An electric bike is a bike with a motor that gives assistance to the rider.
There are two legal types in Australia: The pedal assist, which has a motor that only works when you pedal and assists up to a maximum of 25km/h, allowing the rider can go faster but only under their own steam. And there’s the e-bike with a throttle, meaning you can use the electric motor without pedalling and they have a maximum power of 200 watts.
Not so long ago bike stores stocked just a few e-bikes out the back somewhere but now iBikes stocks them as a mainstream item.
“There are specialty brands that do e-bikes now. And we have plenty in stock and they are on show so people can come and have a browse around and try one,” Mr Taylor said.
And like other cycles, there are different e-bikes for different customers – even those who’ve fancied mountain biking but haven’t felt strong enough.
Yes, there are also electric mountain bikes.
“They are becoming popular, too. They enable people to take on a cycling holiday or challenge that they may not have contemplated before,” Mr Taylor said.
Mr Taylor encouraged people to come into the store and try a test bike.
“We want people to have a ride and understand the bike,” he said.
“Whether you want a new way to commute or to go further on your weekend ride or mountain ride, there is an e-bike for you.”
Visit the store
Shop 8/9, 24-28 Chester Street, Oakleigh
Phone: (03) 9563 2433.
Discover gorgeous gifts at Bibelo in Oakleigh
It’s the blingiest time of the year, and for Bibelo gift shop in Oakleigh, ‘tis the season to outshine all others.
“We love our bling and shine,” said co-owner Irene Karazisis.
“And Christmas gives us the opportunity to have a bit more than usual.”
The store is what Ms Karazisis describes as a “classic” gift shop. It stocks a delightful array of desirables from exquisite earrings to luxurious knitwear.
“We are known for our sterling silver jewellery,” Ms Karazisis said.
“But we sell handbags, scarves, gloves – the classic accessories – as as well as homewares. We also sell clothes. There is something for everyone.”
Bibelo is a bit of an institution in Oakleigh, having been located in Eaton Mall for the past ten years.
But owners Ms Karazisis and her sister-in-law Maria Raptis have never allowed the business to go stale, always adding fresh new products while maintaining the character of the much-loved store.
With festive shoppers already out spending, Ms Karazisis said their jewellery is proving to be popular Christmas must-buys.
The latest pieces by Liberte are in store now, along with Sue Sensi Design, whose Byzantine earrings were worn by Shayna Blaze on The Block.
And, of course, the shop is filled with the beautiful things we love to adorn our homes with at Christmas.
“We have wreaths, scented candles, decorated tree balls, tree decorations including beautiful poinsettia, sprigs and flower pieces,” Ms Karazisis said.
So what are you waiting for? Deck the halls and pick up that pretty, individual present while you are there.
Adding to the joyful experience, Bibelo gift-wraps too.
Visit the store
6 Eaton Mall, Oakleigh
Phone: (03) 9569 5020.
Guide to medical services in Oakleigh
Oakleigh has a range of medical services to service the community’s needs.
A range of offerings from general medical through to specialist treatments means you don’t have to travel far to stay in tip top condition.
Here’s where you can find medical services in Oakleigh:
General medical services
Hanover Street Medical Centre has five doctors, five practice staff and two nurses on site to assist patients. The clinic also offers a range of care including general health, immunisations, travel vaccines, chronic disease plans, and prevention and wellness advice.
As a not-for-profit community organisation that provides lower cost services, Link Health and Community aims to be accessible and affordable. Some services have set fees and some are free. They offer a range of services including dental, counselling, children’s health, exercise help and more.
Don’t neglect your hearing. Testing is easy, solutions are available and in Oakleigh help is at hand. Clinics in the precinct offer hearing tests, treatment for tinnitus, hearing aids. Try National Hearing Care, Hearing Life Australia, or Hearservice.
With the latest techniques and instrumentation for vision examinations and eye health tests, Eyecare Plus Optometrist offers all treatment options plus a wide range of quality optometric frames.
For a range of prescription medicines, vitamins, health food and personal care products head to Aliminakis Pharmacy.
Amcal Pharmacy offers highly-trained healthcare professionals who can offer advice on a broad range of health issues. As well as your meeting your needs in store, the pharmacy sells a range of beauty products and baby goods.
Dental and orthodontic practices
Australian Laser and Skin Clinic is a one-stop shop for laser and cosmetic treatments including laser hair removal, laser tattoo removal, laser facial treatment, microdermabrasion, lip enhancement and more.
Also known as Atherton Road Chiropractor, John Adamopoulos Chiropractor treats back injuries, lower back pain, migraines, period pain and headaches. They also offer nutrition and exercise advice.
Salts of the Earth offers salt therapy which involves inhaling dry salt to cleanse the airways to relieve congestion, inflammation and skin irritation.
Greek festival Oakleigh Glendi returns for fifth year
There will be mouth-watering food devoured, lavouto strings plucked, and many a plate smashed to the cheers of “Opa!” when the Melbourne Greek community get together for the vibrant and colourful Oakleigh Greek Glendi festival.
On Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 5, Warrawee Park in Oakleigh will come alive with the sounds and tastes of Glendi, celebrating a culture that knows how to enjoy life, family and community.
During the Glendi festival, Oakleigh will play host to a weekend of authentic tastes, smells and sounds of Greece, as local Greek artists, musicians and dancers come together for this celebration of food, music and fun.
The Glendi festival is the Greek community’s open invitation to everyone to celebrate cultural diversity through music, performance and food.
Glendi is the Greek word for festival and is a time the community commemorates the Greek National Day of Ohi and the patron saints of Sts Anargiri.
This festival is all about food and fun, with a distinctively Mediterranean taste.
Visitors can browse the artisan market stalls and entertainment across two stages as well as the many stalls full of traditional delicacies and refreshments, while the kids enjoy the rides and take part in cooking competitions. Just don’t miss out on the Loukamade eating competition!
And once you’ve soaked in all the colour and life of Greece, you will want to make sure you’ve stocked up on raffle tickets – first prize is a trip for two to Greece, where you can put your new-found culinary tastes, dancing skills and ability to good use.
Glendi is a free event and is organised by the Greek Orthodox Community of Oakleigh and District and Oakleigh Grammar.
Oakleigh Glendi 2017
Dates: Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 5
Time: from 12noon
Location: Warrawee Park, 1 Atherton Rd, Oakleigh
Full program available at oakleighglendi.com.au
Discover KX Pilates in Oakleigh
Often, Pilates is thought of as that slow, stretch class for the middle-aged with a hip or back impairment.
But a fresh, modern and more dynamic Pilates studio in Oakleigh is attracting a wide range of people to try the practise.
KX Pilates in Oakleigh fuses elements of traditional, reformer Pilates with cardio and endurance exercise, and trainer Ange Kounelis said her clients are loving it.
“It’s about working smarter, not longer, and it can be done at your pace and in accordance with your fitness level and your goals,” she said.
Japanese for ‘change for the better’, the Kaizen Experience, or KX, is a philosophy that focuses on small and ongoing improvement.
Ms Kounelis opened her studio on Atherton Rd, Oakleigh in April and already the business is booming.
“I have a mixed bag of clientele. This 50-minute dynamic style of Pilates works for so many people. The results are better,” Ms Kounelis said.
“You still have the benefits of traditional Pilates but the added cardio element gives an extra fitness outcome.”
Ms Kounelis said many people who are intimidated by the gym love KX Pilates.
“You can exercise in a boutique studio, in a small class that feels like a one-on-one experience but without a one-on-one cost,” she said.
Even young people are catching the KX bug whereas traditional Pilates wouldn’t have attracted them.
“We see younger people now as they study for exams and want to get their body moving or simply de-stress. They’ve heard about KX and they ask mum or dad to book them in.”
Ms Kounelis has a big team at the Oakleigh studio and offers a broad schedule of classes – pre work, just after school drop off, lunchtime, after the kids go to bed at night – there’s a class for everyone.
Keen to try a class? Sign up to the intro offer of 5 classes for $50 (valid for 14 days). To find out more or to book a class, visit the KX Pilates Oakleigh website.
All pictures by Samantha Haines.
Visit the studio
Shop 1, 63-65 Atherton Rd, Oakleigh
Phone: (03) 9802 4443.
Discover The Last Piece cafe in Oakleigh
They’re big on happiness at The Last Piece cafe and why not?
The cafe prides itself on its authentic, delicious pizza and the owners have discovered that Oakleigh is a great place to serve it up.
“No one can deny the happiness that is felt sharing time, food and drink with friends”, the eatery’s website states.
And co-owner Dane Conboy said the food-loving Oakleigh community has embraced the cafe and business was good.
“When people think of Oakleigh they think of the Greek community. And while that is a large part, there is a bigger demographic emerging here,” Mr Conboy said.
“It is a foodie place and our pizza is the key part of what we offer and people love it.”
If you think pizza is pizza, then think again because The Last Piece, on Portman St, offers a traditional Neapolitan pizza.
“It is cooked in a 400 degree, stone-based oven and the dough is rested for 48 hours, so you have a light pizza that is crispy, rather than a doughy pizza,” Mr Conboy said.
The toppings are classic Italian, as are the cured meats and pork, sausage and lamb.
Weekend nights see the cafe filled with families and it is also open for “Melbourne style” breakfast seven days a week.
And while it thrives on traditional pizza cooking styles, The Last Piece has embraced the future bringing Uber Eats to Oakleigh.
“Uber Eats makes up about 10 per cent of our business which is pretty good. It’s getting popular and obviously Uber works well for pizza,” Mr Conboy said.
But if you want to get out of the house and share a slice of happiness with some friends, get along to The Last Piece which also has an al fresco area – perfect for the warmer months.
The cafe promises a happy, warm environment where “friends are number one, we do the thinking and the only arguments are over the past piece”.
Visit the cafe
38 Portman St, Oakleigh
Phone: (03) 9563 4540.
Oakleigh properties blossom in time for spring selling season
Oakleigh is already in the grip of a lively home buying season, with a plethora of sale boards sprouting on residential properties for spring.
Real estate agent Franks Scalise, of Woodards Oakleigh, said the suburb’s median house price was now $1.4 million, which could fetch a four-bedroom family home.
“It’s a big jump from two or three years ago and the Oakleigh market is lively and showing no signs of slowing,” he said.
“There was a lack of stock earlier in the year but the spring mindset is now well and truly in place with sellers setting the pace.”
Mr Scalise said spring has traditionally been the house selling season because the better weather and the blossoming gardens make properties more attractive.
“Gardens look good, the sun is out and the outdoor spaces look attractive, so the photos look great, too,” he said.
“Prices drive up and there is more property for sale.”
Schools, great shopping areas and transport links make Oakleigh a sought-after location for families, couples and young singles.
Properties located in roads off Atkinson St, Oakleigh’s central shopping district area, always proved to be hot spots for would-be buyers, Mr Scalise said.
“It’s Oakleigh’s golden mile,” he said.
“The streets around Atherton Rd and Warrigal Rd are popular, too.”
While families are attracted to the school zones and keeping the larger homes up at the million-dollar price bracket, Mr Scalise said the unit and townhouse market was also vibrant.
“Apartments are less competitive but townhouses and units go for between $550,000 and $900,000. You can’t really get something for less than that,” he said.
“We are all set for a really exciting season.”
Discover Freshabake in Oakleigh
In an era of supermarket proliferation, an old-fashioned family business is breathing new life into a traditional style of store.
Freshabake in Oakleigh recently reopened following a major renovation and owner Melina Longhurst said she was proud to offer “a very homely” bakery with more open shelving and products out on display.
“You should feel comfortable and at home here. We have set our products out so that you can wander around and help yourself, or ask us for help, we are here to assist,” Ms Longhurst said.
Her two brothers have long been bakers at the store and now her sister, who runs the successful French Lettuce Patisserie in Carlton, provides beautiful cakes too.
“It’s a great addition,” Ms Longhurst said.
“I love to display and sell my talented family’s wonderful cakes.”
Business has been good and feedback positive since the reopening. Along with the cakes, the pittas, savouries and hot bread rolls, which are all baked on site, are proving popular.
Ms Longhurst and her siblings are fifth generation bakers and the family business, which has been in Oakleigh for about 25 years, is 165 years old – beginning on the gold fields of Ballarat.
“I am really proud that we have that tradition and the baking passion has come down through the generations,” Ms Longhurst said.
“We display a picture of my great grandfather (in the store) and proudly show that heritage.”
Ms Longhurst believes a love of shopping outside of the big supermarkets, in independent, individual shops on our community retail strips is being embraced even by young shoppers.
“The under 40s are a supermarket generation but we see them more and more in the bakery. The individual, family-run business is a great service to the community.”
And Freshabake is thriving in Oakleigh Central, which is a busy retail hub.
“Okaleigh is Melbourne’s food capital without a doubt,” Ms Longhurst said.
“This is the perfect place for us to bake and sell our delicious products.”
Oakleigh’s $7.5m Atkinson Street carpark opens
Oakleigh’s Atkinson Street carpark extension is proof that aesthetic, environmental impact and local impact are as important as the number of new parking spaces.
The $7.5 million project, which started in August last year, is a relief for the busy shopping precinct, providing 274 parking spaces in the centre of Oakleigh which had 100 per cent occupancy of car parks during peak times.
In a 2016 Monash Council community survey, residents expressed concerns about parking availability.
Two decks of parking (195 extra parking spots) have now been added to the Atkinson Street facility with an electronic car counting system at the entries showing available spaces.
Decorative timber facades with feature lighting ensure a softer, more organic building than the concrete boxes we associate with urban carparks and pathways and landscaping also help make it more attractive, while solar cells on the rooftop level will power internal lighting.
To deter graffiti and vandalism, local students helped street artist Michael Fikaris to create artwork for the concrete columns and internal walls.
The murals on the first two levels feature Australian, Indigenous and Mediterranean plant life, reflecting the markets, gardens and foods that Oakleigh is renowned for.
Sacred Heart Girls College and Oakleigh Grammar students worked with Fikaris to paint their designs on the carpark pillars.
To address concerns of nearby residents, a concrete and aluminium horizontal façade was added to the northern side of the carpark, set back from the boundary, to prevent noise, overlooking and car headlight glare.
A modified entry and exit to the carpark was also designed to discourage people driving down Palmerston Grove.
Images thanks to Monash Council.
Discover The Oakleigh Doughnut Co
Oakleigh may be buzzing with talk of the new artisan doughnut place that’s reinventing old classics to give us taste sensations we hadn’t imagined, but there’s so much more to come.
Brothers Nic and Yani Kabylakis have been enjoying some notoriety since opening The Oakleigh Doughnut Co in July.
“There are a few doughnut places around but our point of difference is our open kitchen and continuous small batch cooking,” Yani said.
“We don’t cook in bulk and refrigerate. The customer gets super fresh doughnuts, so soft and ready to eat.”
But the hype that has surrounded TODCO, as the brothers call it, is about more than the cooked-fresh approach; it’s about the flavours.
“We like to call them new classics,” Yani said.
“Essentially we are crafting cultural flavours into new age doughnuts. We have given the flavours of childhood a modern twist.”
Quirkish Delight anyone? Or how about bakladough, strawberry cheesecake or Oreo creme?
There are six creative cooks in the kitchen at the Portman Street store, which was already famous for its Five Senses coffee.
While most doughnut purchases are take-out, you can still grab a seat, order a coffee and try a doughnut.
“Take away is the biggest market for the doughnuts,” Yani said.
“Our research before we started showed that people prefer to grab a box of doughnuts and take them home to enjoy.”
If, by chance, you have already tried the 21 varieties that have been delighting Oakleigh shoppers, the brothers are fired up with more ideas for recreating traditional cultural flavours for the modern foodie.
While Oakleigh has a large Greek population, TODCO has taken broader, international influences and there are no borders on the doughnut taste fest the brothers love to create.
“I have an idea for Asian flavours – a doughnut with matcha green tea or dragon tea infusions… we’ll see,” Yani said.
We can’t wait.
Visit the store
36 Portman St, Oakleigh
Phone: (03) 9569 8172
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm daily – or until the doughnuts run out.
All images thanks to The Oakleigh Doughnut Co (via Facebook).
Meet Oakleigh MP Steve Dimopolous
Steve Dimopoulos is privy to a secret we’d all like in on – he knows who the best cook in the world is.
The busy, young politician loves to cook when he can find some down time and he has only one great culinary inspiration.
“My mother, who I have no hesitation in crediting as the best cook in the world,” Mr Dimopoulos said.
“Life is full of opportunities to make a difference” is the slogan at the top of his Instagram page.
And the Labor Member for Oakleigh said it was the idea of affecting change that drew him to politics.
“I grew up in a household where we were very aware of the world around us, government and political ideas, “ Mr Dimopoulos said.
“I decided to run for council in Monash when they were trying to close down the Oakleigh Pool. I was lucky enough to be elected and we managed to save the pool. It’s now a fantastic local facility and it’s going to get even better soon.”
Elected in 2014, the Labor government committed to jobs, education, health and transport and Mr Dimopoulos believes progress has been made on many issues.
“Some of the more prominent ones locally would be the removal of nine level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong.
“We’ve announced the $10 million upgrade to Oakleigh station. We’re also going ahead with a $4 million upgrade to Huntingdale Station and the new bus interchange and car park improvements works are starting soon.”
School improvements (Hughesdale Primary, Amsleigh Park Primary, Carnegie Primary, Glen Eira College) are achievements of note for the MP who said he was working hard to secure future works at other great primary schools, like Oakleigh and Huntingdale.
Off duty, the Mr Dimopoulos loves to relax with friends.
“Eaton Mall is really the centre of Oakleigh – but I think the precinct will get even bigger in the years ahead,” he said.
“We’ve got some of the world’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars. And it’s not just the food which is amazing, it’s the atmosphere, it’s the sense of community.”
Fast forward out of winter to a balmy summer evening and Mr Dimopoulos would forgive you for thinking you were “in a beachside village in Greece”.
“It’s like a big community and there’s always someone there you know.”
Discover Richmond Oysters in Oakleigh
There is a simple philosophy that guides Richmond Oysters in Oakleigh – serve premium quality seafood for the enjoyment of all.
That simplicity belies the hard work and talent of the man at the helm of the Oakleigh restaurant, head chef Riccardo Messora (pictured, above).
Messora, who has honed his craft in some of London’s finest establishments, including several of celebrated British chef Marco Pierre White’s Michelin-starred restaurants, has brought fresh energy to a Melbourne institution.
The young chef arrived in Australia in 2004 and hasn’t looked back. His eight years in London provided him with top-notch training.
“Working in the kitchens of Marco Pierre White, for example, was difficult and challenging but I loved every minute. I had the best training and learned the best techniques,” Messora said.
Previously head chef at T’Gallant winery on the Mornington Peninsula, executive chef at Romulus, Remo, head chef at Tutto Bene and owner of Sartago restaurant, Messora brings a wealth of experience to the Oakleigh venture.
In 1959, brothers Tony and Nick Anassis opened a small fish store on Church Street, Richmond and today Richmond Oysters is a buzzing restaurant and thriving retail, wholesale business.
To the delight of local seafood lovers, that Melbourne institution threw open its doors in Oakleigh in April 2016.
From Australian waters directly to the plate, Richmond Oysters serves up fresh seafood in many delicious ways.
The seafood platters are famous among foodies and there is even a fresh Oyster tank from which the contents are shucked to order.
The Italian chef, who shares some of his recipes on SBS radio, is loving his new challenge in Oakleigh and has plans for wine evenings and cooking classes in the spring.
“Our first year here was great,” Messora said.
“And we hope to continue that. To stop the winter slow down, we will have a stall in the centre of Oakleigh every Saturday in July to give people a taste of what we have to offer.”
Visit the restaurant
66 Portman Street, Oakleigh
Phone: (03) 9568 4755.