THEY may be less familiar without the red baskets and King Street ambience, but these may be some of the first Big Al’s sandwiches in Novocastrian hands.
The picture shows Neville Yeates, Bill Koste, Colin Scott, George Levassur and Hermawan Gunardi before their trip to Dallas to learn how to make the sandwiches that would become an iconic Newcastle institution at King Street sandwich joint Big Al’s.
The brand will be revived as Aaron van der Stadt, who runs the El Poco Loco food truck with his mother, brings the recipes back at The Station tonight and across the weekend to launch its new incarnation as a food truck.
The restaurant last traded in Newcastle in 2006.
Mr van der Stadt said the project had been a lengthy one, requiring him to track the former restaurant’s history from Newcastle founder Colin Scott and Leo and Deanne Apostolou, who bought it in the 1990s.
“It turned out that we were friends with their son,” he said.
“It’s just a brand that resonates with everyone. What an opportunity, to bring back such an institution.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to get access to all the old recipes, all the old details.”
Mr van der Stadt said a permanent location had been considered but proved too much of a challenge “with the city in a state of change”.
“You’re not going to put it back near the cinema [in its original location] because the cinema’s closing,” Mr van der Stadt said.
The return of Big Al’s was first teased in October last year, with more than 18,000 people responding to a cryptic social media post hinting the restaurant may be poised for a return.
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