Not many restaurateurs can say they had to break into a bank vault to open their dream eatery.
But such was the task for the team behind The Postman’s Quarter, a new restaurant set to open its doors in Thirroul next week.
The eatery is located in the suburb’s former post office, which was also an agent for the Commonwealth Bank during its heyday – hence the bank vault.
Alex Stojanovski and Daniel Dafkovski were forced to crack open the vault as part of their work to turn the building into a dining space.
‘‘It had tall raked ceilings, lots of natural light, we saw the potential so we wanted to keep that 1900s feel.’’
‘‘People talk about starting from scratch but we started from less than scratch,’’ Mr Dafkovski laughed.
‘‘We had to do a complete overhaul of the building – all we were left with was brick walls at the start of the work; we changed everything. We cut into the vault to create a private dining area.’’
The pair has devoted six months to renovating the Lawrence Hargrave landmark, doing the work between shifts at their Wollongong eatery My Pantry.
The owners were careful to pay homage to the building’s history in the refurbishment, creating an air of ‘‘vintage elegance’’ in the space.
Expect chevron oak parquetry flooring, pendant lighting and some reclaimed post office boxes.
‘‘We loved the building right from the start and we liked the history that came with it,’’ Mr Stojanovski said.
‘‘It had tall raked ceilings, lots of natural light, we really saw the potential so we really wanted to keep that sort of 1900s feel.’’
Although the building has stood vacant for almost three years, the owners are confident the restaurant will revive the once-rundown site. ‘‘We’re really excited because we see this as something different for the Thirroul dining scene,’’ Mr Stojanovski said.
‘‘We tried to find a niche in the market – people will notice it’s not your run-of-the-mill restaurant, it’s a bit off-centre and that’s what we wanted; we’re really hoping we’ve built something the public will like.’’
The Postman’s Quarter opens on September 30.
It will serve dinner from Tuesday to Sunday and lunch on the weekends.
Visit thepostmansquarter.com.au for more information.