Published: 8 Apr 2022
Sometimes timing is everything. That’s certainly been the case for Jack Trinh and the opening of his Vietnamese restaurant in Melton South in Melbourne’s west.
Keen to turn a passion for cooking into a career, Jack opened his first Trinh’s Kitchen in Gisborne in the Macedon Ranges. With that doing well, he made the decision to open a second restaurant closer to Melbourne. He chose a spot on Exford Road, near Melton train station.
With the site secured, he was one of 20 businesses chosen to get funding through the Victorian Government and City of Melton’s Revitalising Melton South and Scott Street project. Its goal is to revitalise shop fronts, deliver public art displays and improve street lighting.
Thanks to the funding, Jack’s restaurant was transformed. The shopfront was repainted, and new signage and outdoor lighting added - all in time for its opening in February 2022.
“The funding is very helpful. The pandemic was a struggle and with the local support we’ve been able to change our look. It’s very eye-catching and will attract new customers,” Jack said.
Jack is now making his mark on Exford Street, which is part of one of Melton South’s oldest neighbourhood activity centres.
“I found that Melton was a booming area with a growing population and improving infrastructure.”
“It’s a great suburb that’s full of potential and I’m looking forward to having another successful restaurant here.”
Along with Trinh’s Kitchen, 13 businesses in Melton South have had a facelift with updated signage and new street lighting. Another 6 benefited from similar upgrades further north on Scott Street.
The upgrades are part of the broader Suburban Revitalisation Program. It’s supporting Melton's community to prosper, and creating a safe, inclusive place to live and visit.
Just around the corner from Trinh’s Kitchen on Staughton Street is Bargain Box Fabrics, a Melton institution that has been in the area for 25 years.
Owner Susan Robertson loves her store’s new look.
“The upgrades have helped lighten the shop up. The outdoor lighting comes on at night so people can see our sign and feel a lot safer getting off the train.”
“We’ve had plenty of new people moving to Melton and they’ve been so happy to find us.”
Business boomed for Bargain Box Fabrics during the pandemic with locals picking up new hobbies.
“We still have people coming out and asking, ‘what did you do during lockdown?’ and I always say, ‘we were busy!’,” Susan said.
The boom is set to continue for Susan and others in the revitalised shopping precinct. It’s helped by the strong community spirit among business owners.
As a new arrival in the area, Jack has been amazed at the level of support. He’s been warmly welcome by other shop owners
“We already have great relationships with the other shops - I couldn’t be happier that I made such a great choice.”
Photo credits: Melton City Council