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One of Sydney's Longest-Running Italian Institutions Is Expanding to Melbourne and the Gold Coast

After 50 years in Darlinghurst, Bill & Toni's is heading interstate for the first time.
By Libby Curran
January 31, 2018
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One of Sydney's Longest-Running Italian Institutions Is Expanding to Melbourne and the Gold Coast

After 50 years in Darlinghurst, Bill & Toni's is heading interstate for the first time.
By Libby Curran
January 31, 2018
  shares

You sure couldn't accuse Sydney restaurant Bill & Toni's of expanding too quickly. After all, it's only now — with more than 50 years under its belt — that the Darlinghurst institution is preparing to add three more venues to the family, including one in both Victoria and Queensland.

So, why now? Well, the venue has a new owner, Chris Montel, who, since taking over last year, has swiftly made plans to launch three more outposts by the end of 2018. Surfers Paradise and Melbourne's Lygon Street will each get their slice of Bill & Toni's in the coming months, followed by a venue in Montel's own stomping ground of Cronulla later in the year.

The aim for each, according to Montel, is to recreate the vibe and offering of the original — everything from the retro-leaning decor to the memorabilia lining the walls will be reimagined for the new spaces. The loveable old-school diner has cemented its status as a cult favourite of Sydney's Italian dining scene with its generous fare, pinball machines and the complimentary orange cordial that makes its way onto most of the tables. But, arguably, its charm lies in the fact that it's been around forever, and we're not quite convinced that will resonate with new cities and communities — especially Lygon Street, which is full of long-running old-school Italian joints already.

While details for the Cronulla restaurant are still vague, the planned interstate outposts will be a little smaller, each boasting just one level and room for about 150 people, though they'll be dishing up the same short and snappy menu Darlinghurst folks have been loving for years. Time will tell if those hefty serves of crisp chicken schnitzel and spaghetti bolognese will win over a few new lifelong fans.

Bill & Toni's will open on the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Cronulla in Sydney's south this year. We'll let you know opening dates and exact locations of the three new venues as they drop. Until then, you can visit the OG Bill & Toni's at 72–74 Stanley Street, Darlinghurst. 

Images: Kimberley Low. 

Published on January 31, 2018 by Libby Curran

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