Visit King St Deli & Bar, a cool new space in the Newcastle CBD
Yes, you heard that right, an incredible little deli & bar has launched their new space on King St at the most unlikely of times, and if that’s not one obvious reason to know that life goes on, I’m not sure what is.
King St Deli & Bar is the work of local couple and hospitality professionals, Darrell and Lidya Stapleton, who also happen to be the owners of the much-loved Ethiopian restaurant in The Junction; Habesha.
Whilst the idea has been quietly brewing behind the scenes for the past 4-5 years, the move of Habesha to The Junction last year made for a no brainer to finally settle in and make King St Deli a reality.
“I started looking for a commercial space in and around the Newcastle CBD, but unfortunately ended up being sidetracked and busy with other business and it was left on the back burner.
“We then moved Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant to The Junction late last year, and it was a no brainer to build the King Street Deli and Bar concept at the old Habesha site in King Street next to the Tower cinema,” Darrell said.
With the duo having no shortage of experience, it’s no surprise to see they’ve branched out with a new venue, but why a deli?
“There’s always been a requirement for great charcuterie, cheese, dry goods and grab and go foods in the CBD. Newcastle CBD hospitality operators have been under so much strain over the years with a lot of businesses having to close their doors due to continuous construction and poor forward planning and support by the Government.
“So, the concept is to make available once again, the best quality imported and local produce with a great selection of grab and go foods at great prices, along with excellent coffee of course."
Shoppers can get their hands on some of the best quality local and imported charcuterie, cheese, antipasto, dry goods and fresh produce. With delicious paninis, salads, pastries, fresh juices and the aforementioned coffee. The venue is also a licensed premises, so offers some of our region’s best wines, beers and ciders, and with the new licensing laws it's a bonus that shoppers can pick up all their goodies to go!
“We will also be offering corporate catering and office delivery services once the COVID-19 dust has settled.”
Speaking of that fun topic, COVID-19, what was running through your head when you decided to open mid-pandemic?
“A week or so before our opening the Government had announced severe trading restrictions for hospitality venues and social distancing policies that would have a significant impact on our operations. However, we were too far down the track not to open, we literally had tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of stock delivered, staff employed and trained, the commencement of marketing campaigns and forward orders taken.”
“So, we officially opened on the 1st of April 2020; a decision I am still trying to convince myself of.”
A few weeks into operating, the team at King St Deli has seen some unexpectedly good trade,
“The support and feedback we have had from our local community and customers has been fantastic. Of course, we have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 and trading is nowhere near forecasted, but if we can provide our customers with a great takeaway food and beverage option, keep the doors open and keep people in jobs, I’m ok with that for the moment.”
Not one to dwell on the negatives, Darrel and the team are already looking ahead to plans to build King St Deli & Bar 2.0.
“We have a site at Pokolbin we had already started working on and plans to roll out a couple more.
“The main focus is to operate our current venues the best way we can and try and keep on top of the ever changing and challenging landscape we are forced to operate in. I have no doubt the hospitality industry will be back, and back in a big way.”
So, come on Newcastle, let’s keep supporting our local businesses and call into King St Deli & Bar for some quality local and imported goodies.