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Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz at Porteno
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The Porteño crew are opening a bakery and an Italian restaurant next month

Taking over Holt Street, one venue at a time

Written by
Emily Lloyd-Tait

Elvis Abrahanowicz, Ben Milgate and Joe Valore make up one of the most powerful hospitality partnerships in the city. They are the creative forces behind Porteño and Wyno x Bodega, plus their spin-off venue at Tramsheds. And never ones to let a pandemic get 'em down, they are set to open not one, but two new venues in October.

“It was something new to do, a way to keep everyone employed, to keep everyone busy. It’s the only thing we know how to do,” says Abrahanowicz of the two-pronged expansion into the new sites on Holt Street. If that address sounds familiar it’s because it’s the same street that Porteño, their famous Argentinean grillhouse, is on, with Wyno x Bodega around the corner in the lane. Abrahanowicz hopes to create a miniature precinct so that people can pop into one venue for a drink, and then move onto another for dinner.

Bastardo is going to be their take on a traditional Italian trattoria, with fresh pasta made from a 1960s pasta extruder they’ve sourced for the project. “It’s a bastardised version of trad Italian, because we’re mongrel Italians (Abrahanowicz’s mother is Calabrian; Valore is Sicilian). It’s what we eat on the weekend – very simple, lots of pasta, antipasti, vegetables and seafood. We want people to stuff themselves and drink nice Italian wine,” he says.

Their CVs might be packed with restaurant experience, but running a daytime venue is a new challenge, but that’s the plan with their new bakery called Humble. “We’ve never done anything like it before: we know how to run service, how to write a menu,” he says, but opening at 6am to pull fresh yeasted loaves from their newly commissioned four-tiered oven is another story. “We feel like there’s not enough savoury things in bakeries so we want to lift the game up.” Expect sourdough, ciabatta, focaccia, baguettes, sandwiches, and salads, plus gelato that they’re making in-house for all their venues. The bakery and café will be open daily from 7am and will focus on takeaways, while their new trattoria will open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner.

Wondering what else is nearby? Check out our locals' guide to Surry Hills.

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