Measuring out five kilometres from our homes might be a lockdown hangover we’ll never fully recover from. But sometimes good things come from challenging times – and we can count Stan’s, Malvern’s new deli and sandwich shop, as one of them.
Inspired by old-world delis and diners in New York, it’s from a well-rounded team of Melbourne hospo folk: Guy Bentley (Leonardo’s Pizza Palace, Leonard’s House of Love), Todd Vanneste (Frankie’s Tortas and Tacos), Alex Gavioli (former manager of Moby and Lenny) and Aaron Trotman (behind zero-alcohol wine alternative Non).
The idea was born during lockdown, when Gavioli and Trotman were searching for somewhere to eat or drink within their five-kilometre radius that wasn’t “overcomplicated or overthought”, Gavioli says. “We wanted somewhere with great produce done well in an environment that’s super warm and welcoming.
“I want people to come into Stan’s and feel like they’re coming into my home,” he says. “We’re trying to keep it local. I want the community to know that we’re here for them, for the area.”
That “home” is one stylish white-and-green-painted diner designed by Vanneste’s Weekdays Design Studio. It has wooden benches as well as outdoor picnic tables for those looking to settle in with a strong brew by North Melbourne’s Small Batch.
To eat, there are 5 & Dime bagels with whipped ricotta, lemon and dill; pork-and-fennel-sausage muffins with curried egg and cheese; and mortadella sandwiches with artichoke, olives and provolone. There’s also a hefty, saucy eggplant-parma number.
“We make 80 per cent of our ingredients on-site,” says Gavioli. “We don’t do the bread, meat or cheese – we make our mayos [and] ferment our chillies.”