After more than 50 years of providing Sydney with spaghetti bolognese and orange cordial, Bill and Toni's is set to break complimentary bread interstate from March.
A Gold Coast outpost of the Darlinghurst Italian institution is scheduled to open March 15 in Broadbeach. Melbourne will get its Bill and Toni's schnitzel fix from April 12.
"A lot of people from Melbourne and Queensland have been coming to Bill and Toni's since it opened in 1965," says Chris Montel, who took ownership of the restaurant in 2017. "So I asked those customers 'What if we put a Bill and Toni's in your home city?' and the idea had a lot of support."
Even though opening dates have been scheduled, locations for the new restaurants have not been finalised.
Montel is the former owner of Concord's Espresso Organica and the award-winning West Juliett cafe in Marrickville. He says Bill and Toni's has an "old-school charm" that's hard to find.
"It's been in the same location for 50 years and the menu and decor have barely changed since it opened. It's all part of the atmosphere."
This charm (and the food, of course) has attracted big names to Bill and Toni's over the years, such as Sophia Loren, Miranda Kerr and Russell Crowe.
Melbourne is already rich with Italian restaurants and opening a Bill and Toni's in the CBD could be like selling sand to Egypt, however Montel insists the cheap and cheerful eatery will stand out.
"I was there last month checking out the competition," he says. "They do things differently than us. They've got a different style. The restaurants have a modern twist while we're very authentic."
Despite the new locations, everything inside the restaurant, from the menu to the decor, will be in tune to the Stanley Street original.
That means complimentary bread, lettuce and orange cordial. And yes, the pinball machines are going in, too