Change doesn’t always go down well.

But when Club Italia spruced-up its bistro by scrapping counter service and offering an a la carte menu, the changes were applauded by members and the sporting club community alike.

The Sunshine-based club, home to the Brimbank Stallions soccer team as well as billiards and bocce teams, took home the best metropolitan club bistro title at the recent Community Clubs Victoria awards. It was also named a finalist in the “youth development” and “president of the year” categories.

Gaming and Liquor Regulation Minister Marlene Kairouz presented club vice president Leo Vargiu with the award, which recognises good quality meals and snacks, and outstanding presentation of the restaurant and staff.

Mr Vargiu said the bistro had been extremely popular in recent years and patronage had doubled. “We are proud of this award not only because it recognises the lovely food our kitchen produces, but also for the recognition of the tremendous improvements in every part of the club,” he said.