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Diners flee violent Lygon Street brawl

A late-night brawl that forced Lygon Street diners to flee flying tables and chairs remains unsolved as police continue searching for at least six men.

The group of men had begun fighting outside Cafe Cavallino, near Grattan Street in Carlton, just after 11pm on Saturday, March 29, with dozens of diners running and screaming from the mayhem.

Maria Papazoglou had been eating dinner at the restaurant that night when she saw a man walk up to a nearby table and start the fight.

"It was just such a frightening night," she told the Nine Network.

"The guy just throws the first punch and it then just escalated from there. His mates started retaliating, flipping the table, and chairs and tables flying everywhere."

Other diners grabbed their mobile phones and began shooting video.


In one video, several men are throwing chairs at each other as dishes and glasses shatter. One man is then pushed back into the restaurant and holds his arm up to fend off a barrage of flying chairs.

In another video, a man can be seen chasing after a woman along Lygon Street.

At least one man suffered minor injuries as he tried to find cover from the brawl.

The fighting men had fled the scene by the time police arrived.

Senior Constable Lisa Bos said it’s not known what sparked the argument, but it appears the two groups knew each other before the fight began.

‘‘It’s quite shocking behaviour,’’ she said.

‘‘Lygon Street for us is a very family-friendly environment where people go out in all hours of the day and night. ...  It’s a shocking incident to break out in the middle of a cafe.

‘‘We’re just fortunate that there weren’t more people who were injured.’’

The one man who was injured had been having dinner with his partner when he tried to protect her and a bottle hit him in the head, she said.

Police released photos of the men on Thursday, urging anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.