The Italian deli on King St is back open on Friday nights
Foodies rejoice! The incredible little deli, and bar on King Street featuring all of the best charcuterie, formaggio, and vino for all your at-home grazing boards is back open on Friday nights!
The brainchild of long-term chef and foodie connoisseur, Will O’Brien, Arno Deli is here for all your premium cheese, meats, wine, and retail products from across the globe. The hole-in-the-wall joint has been a long-term dream for Will, having been slowly working to bring it to life over the years.
Originally from Sydney, Will grew a love for Newcastle following a short stint at The Landing when relocating for his wife’s academic pursuits at the University of Newcastle. Just 18 months later the couple had moved back to Sydney, but Newcastle was always in his sights.
“We moved to Newcastle originally so my wife could do her master’s degree, and we just fell in love with it here. That whole time we were back in Sydney, I was itching to come back,” Will shared.
Like many chefs, Will had always hoped to open up his very own venue. It was a 6-month road trip through Europe where the idea of bringing an Italian-styled deli to Newcastle started forming.
“I’d always wanted to go out and do my own thing. Before we got married, we did a six-month drive around Europe where we would constantly be stopping at all the local delis. We both decided that a deli was what we’d want to open long-term. It’s just taken 10 years for us to get to this point!”
Come October 2021, this little space on King St was inspected and 2022 saw the young couple bring what is now Arno Deli to life. Officially opening on Thursday 9th of June, the venue is already seeing regulars streaming through the doors, waving to Will as they pick up their daily dose of coffee or grab n’ go deli goods.
The offering is presented in front of you in the glass cabinets, with top-tier French cheese, Spanish ham, Italian meats, and even some local goods from Hungerford Meat Co. gracing the shelves.
“We want to have a really strong predominately Italian mix of all the cured meats. We’re also stocking a few of Michael’s meats from Hungerford. It’s basically all premium products that we love ourselves.”
If you’re after a grab’n go lunch meal, the menu features a selection of toasties on sourdough and paninis made on a specially crafted Italian focaccia called Schiacciata.
“It’s basically a Northern Italian Focaccia. It’s a really long flat bread that we’re getting made especially by a bakery in Sydney.”
Keen for a little picnic in the park? The Arno Deli team will curate a little grazing box filled with their best products alongside a bottle of vino to get you enjoying the best of Europe right from the comfort of Newcastle’s grounds.
Speaking of vino, the huge wine fridges are filled with delicious drops that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere in Newcastle. With a huge focus on Italian wines and Italian grape varietals by Australian vineyards, the wine list at Arno Deli has been curated for the true wine connoisseurs.
“We’ve got 14 wines available by the glass at the moment and we’ll be increasing that slowly. We’re licensed from 11am for customers to be able to come in and make their way through that list.”
Unsurprisingly, the retail selection of goods available at Arno Deli are just as fabulous as the rest of the menu. From the very best in olive oil, Italian balsamic, and truffle-based products to premium pasta and risotto rice.
“A lot of thought has gone into the retail products as well which you can’t really get elsewhere in Newcastle.”
The name, Arno Deli, is a talking point in itself. Paying homage to the Italian products available, the word Arno is in fact derived from the main river that runs through the couple's favourite Italian city, Florence.
“My wife and I love Florence and we’ve been back about six times now. We wanted something that didn’t really define the space too much but is loosely connected to Italian.”
Whilst we wait for the arrival of Arno Deli’s nights to kick off, we suggest dropping in and sampling all the goods available for a truly magnificent foodie experience. Whether you’re dropping in for a morning coffee, a takeaway lunch, picking up some goods to take home, or sitting down for a wine and dine-in experience, Arno Deli is no doubt looking forward to having you.