Loved Newtown bar-cum-deli Continental is known for its canned seafood, piles of cured meats and famed tinned cocktails. Now, this award-winning combination is coming to the CBD — a second Continental is opening along Phillip Street later this year.
The owners responsible for these cured and tinned delights boast some serious resumes, from Porteño's Elvis Abrahanowicz and Joe Valore to Bodega's Jesse Warkentin. With the Newtown original well-established as a local favourite, the team is ready to expand the brand, though the opportunity along Phillip Street wasn't exactly sought after.
"It was the first location we looked at, it got offered to us and that was it," says Abrahanowicz. "We weren't thinking about opening one in the city, but this kind of came up and it fit the bill so we just went for it. That's how we do most of our places, I guess."
The CBD space will have elements reminiscent of the Newtown venue, but, unlike the two-storey inner west space, the city digs will have one large open-plan design. "The fit-out always depends on the space and we never have anything set in stone beforehand," says Abrahanowicz. "Once we get in and start working with it, we'll have a better idea of what this one will look like."
Patrons will be glad to know that many of the deli's popular items will make their way onto the new menu, including the tinned seafood and famed canned cocktails, cheap toasties and cold-cut platters, as well as a few of the bistro dishes. "We haven't sat down and talked specifically about the menu yet, but I think what makes Continental work is that it's a combination of everything." says Abrahanowicz. "You can come in for just a drink or for dinner, then get some takeaway produce that you can have for brekkie or lunch the next day."
The bistro will open for lunch and dinner, with the team expanding the afternoon menu in the hopes of becoming a regular go-to for the CBD lunch crowd — a considerably bigger group than in Newtown.
"The thing with Newtown is it's very community-focused, so our customers are the locals," says Abrahanowicz. "We don't know how it's going to go in the city, but Continental is close to our hearts. We all grew up going to delis and the concept just works for us. We don't necessarily think about whether something will work in a specific neighbourhood or not, we just do it because it's what we like."
This approach has worked resoundingly well for the gents so far, so we're expecting big things from their newest venture.
Continental Deli Bar Bistro will open its second outpost at 167 Phillip Street, Sydney in June/July 2018.