When the team behind inner-east wine bar Lune opened their Unley cocktail bar Dolly in January, everything was perfect. Well, almost perfect. There was no room at Dolly for a coffee machine – so naturally they decided to lease the adjoining space.
Enter Spread, pint-sized panini-slash-wine bar. During the day on Monday to Saturday, Spread will operate as a cafe and deli – but will expand to open on Friday and Saturday nights in early October.
Speaking to Broadsheet, Spread co-owner Sam Worrall-Thompson explains the vision behind Dolly’s multi-use sister venue. “I just think for a business to work well in Adelaide they need to be targeting more than one demographic. So to use it as a cafe during the day and then use it at night as a bar [made sense].” Worrall-Thompson looked interstate for inspiration, citing Melbourne’s Hector’s Deli and Sydney’s Continental Deli as two venues they’re looking to emulate.
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The Aube Projects fit-out, with timeless sage green tiling and brass furnishings, gives the space a sophisticated nonchalance that suits the venue’s dual purposes. “We just want to make sure those personalities are really clear,” said Worrall-Thompson. With 40 seats indoors and room for another 32 outside, the plan is for the venue to function predominantly as a takeaway spot during the day and then as a cosy eat-in spot at night.
The lunch menu stacks up against the stalwarts of the Adelaide sandwich scene, paninis and toasties. Think mushroom XO, togarashi, provolone and pickled shallot; a bonito melt with American cheese and pickled jalapeno; and eggplant katsu with smoked tomato, oozy stracciatella and prosciutto. There’s also an Italian hoagie piled high with deli meats, giardiniera, chilli and mozzarella that rivals the sangas we saw on season one of The Bear.
The evening menu is an inventive echo of the daytime fare. “We’re using as many elements as we can from our panini menu and turning them into more finished dishes for our night menu,” says Worrall-Thompson. The core elements of lunchtime’s chicken panini become a half-roast chook with bread sauce (made with leftover sandwich buns) and there’s a salumi XO that uses all the offcuts from the deli sandwiches’ cured meats to create a rich umami sauce. Worrall-Thompson also teased that they’re “doing quite a few things on sticks.” (We’re hoping for some gildas.)
Rounding off the bar’s menu is a simple drinks list with three to five cocktails (“all stirred, none shaken”), tinnies and a concise list of by-the-glass wines. There are plans to build up a more high-end by-the-bottle list, but it won’t be following Dolly’s more refined route. “[We want it to be] much more casual [than Dolly], get rid of all the fuss and all the carry-on that comes with hospitality sometimes … as if you’re walking into someone’s house and sitting at their kitchen bar.”
Any good kitchen boasts a stocked pantry and Spread is no different. “We want to try and use as many small local producers as possible,” says Worrall-Thompson. “That’s the meaning behind the name. We’re full of spreads (and condiments) that you can buy and take home with you. And when we’ve had time to scratch ourselves, we’ll come up with recipes using these spreads.”
For now Worrall-Thompson is particularly excited about the product range from The Larder with crispy chilli, confit chilli and truffle honey all in stock. “I think we’re going to do a saganaki toastie with the truffle honey.”
Spread Delicatessen & Bar
246 Unley Road, Unley
Mon to Fri 6:30am–3pm
Friday and Saturday nights from October.