Brothers Will and Mick Balleau just started renovations on the Elgin Street site, and expect to open in February, serving up smoked turkey and ham, house-made bagels, chowder and other New York classics. "When I moved out here in '99, there were three types of cuisine I missed,” explains Will. “Mexican, proper Texas barbeque, and classic New York-style deli food.”
The duo, who grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, covered the first two bases with their initial eateries. This one will complete the trinity. "There's always been a concept for a Le Bon Ton sister restaurant,” Will says, “using the smoked meats and flavours the smokers at Bon Ton create, but in a different environment."
Five Points Deli will sport a classic Art Deco look, and cater to breakfast and lunchtime crowds with about 200 seats. Upstairs, at Longhorn Saloon, a similar number will dine amid the clamour of pounding rock'n'roll. "It’s going to be a little rough around the edges,” Will says. “Lots of rough-hewn timber, old iron chandeliers and neon lights.”
The duo’s sister, Katie, has signed on as operations manager. “It was a long campaign trying to get her out to Australia, but she finally made the move,” Will says. With her background in large-scale hoteling, the brothers feel she'll put the venue in good stead.
“We’ve had a lifelong passion for this East Coast sort of food,” Will says, “and now that we're established in the industry here, we figured we’d try to get it right.”
Five Points Deli and Longhorn Saloon
118 Elgin Street, Carlton