After opening midway through last year, Guildford’s Willing Coffee quickly established itself as one of Perth’s top coffee destinations (I named it best new coffee bar in my 2018 year in review). The venue was built at the base of a residential building by property developer (and former Australian track-cycling champion) Tim Willing and wife Veronique. The couple is now repeating the formula with The Deli on the corner of Central Ave and Clifton Crescent in Mount Lawley, next to a soon-to-be residential development.

Willing has a personal connection to the deli, which dates back to the 1950s. “I grew up on Clifton Crescent. My brother still lives on the street, my Mum and Dad still live on the street,” he tells Broadsheet. “Everyone who went to Mount Lawley Primary School knows that deli very well. We spent a lot of time there buying icy poles and mixed lollies by the cent.”

While Willing Coffee cultivates an Italian feel, there’ll be a French aesthetic to The Deli’s interior. In contrast, the exterior will retain its Australiana vibe, with local artist Luke O’Donohoe engaged to restore the Peter’s Ice Cream sign facing Central Avenue.

As at Willing HQ, coffee will be made with the in-house blend and single origin roasted by head barista Jacob Chapman. A rotating selection by Australian and international coffee roasters will also feature at both stores. The new cafe will be managed by Alex Lowes, formerly of Lowdown Espresso and Bossman Coffee.

On the menu, expect granola and house-baked croissants, cakes and sourdough bread. Willing also promises icy poles and mixed lollies.

The site next door has been earmarked for the Clifton & Central residential development, which will feature 15 apartments and a group of shop-houses intended for owner-operators who want to live above their businesses. Pending approval, construction will begin next year.

Once the development is complete, Willing plans to introduce evening service, transforming The Deli into a Paris-inspired wine bar. It’ll be a collaboration with friend and eye surgeon Dru Daniels.

“We’ve seen how much joy our little coffee shop brought to Guildford, and there’s an opportunity to do something similar in Mount Lawley,” says Willing. “It’s almost like a theatre set. You get all these different players coming onto a stage through the day, and you get lovely little snapshots of life.”

The Deli on Clifton & Central will open in December.

The Deli on Clifton & Central
Corner of Central Ave and Clifton Crescent, Mount Lawley
Mon to Fri 6.30am–2pm
Sat to Sun 6.30am–3pm