​Luigi Bros Delicatessen

Located on Short Street near the centre of Port Macquarie, Luigi Bros Delicatessen is a popular Italian style deli that offers fresh deli goods and an inviting space for customers to enjoy a coffee or light meal.

Owners Nicole and Scott engaged ETA Constructions to do a complete fit-out of the premises in 2019.

Whenever commercial food preparation is involved, cleanliness is everything. First and foremost, the space had to be functional, with the ability to meet and exceed modern sanitisation best practices for food preparation areas. Behind the counters, brushed stainless steel workspaces gleam against the glossy black tiles of the splashback that reaches from floor to ceiling on one side of the store.

The hard surfaces are softened by a curvaceous plywood bulkhead that wraps and segments the kitchen area from the rest of the cafe. An exposed brick feature wall provides a rich backdrop for timber display cabinets that showcase dry store goods like coffee, jams and pasta. And because the workspace wraps the full length of the back wall and returns along the side wall to the street, you can actually see behind the counter. That’s why it was important to project and maintain a sense of cleanliness in every detail.

While the interior appears refreshingly simple, a lot of what makes the end result so successful is the preparation that went in beforehand, which revealed some challenges to the original design.

Ezra explains: “The original idea was to have polished concrete floors, however once the old floor coverings were removed, it revealed major cracking and movement in the slab, so it was decided that
the floor should be created using oversized slate-look tiles.”

​​To prevent cracks from transferring from the slab to the new tiles or the waterproofing membrane,
the entire floor required a screed bed of concrete reinforced with steel mesh. Hobs were then created, followed by waterproofing in all the work areas, and then tiling to achieve a flawless surface.

New brickwork was installed behind the tiled splashback, which required rendering before the tiles could be fixed to its surface. The entire wall was then grouted with epoxy to meet food safe area requirements.

More than 12 months after the fitout was completed, everything still looks new, fresh and clean!

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