Hugo Pedler is all about juxtaposition. When he tells Broadsheet about his latest Penny Hospitality venue, the soon-to-open Two-Pot Screamer, he points out how distinct two of the previous venues that occupied the space – at 285 Rundle Street – were.
“It’s such an iconic location, with Universal Wine Bar [having been] there, and Jock Zonfrillo’s Orana,” says Pedler. “They’re two very different offerings … we just thought, ‘Wow, what an amazing opportunity to go in and represent what we think Australian culture is and what we think the culinary direction of Australian food should be.’”
Pedler’s new restaurant-bar hybrid will demonstrate contrast in more ways than one. The menu, he says, is fine-dining meets classic Australian snack food: think chiko rolls, sausage on bread and Neapolitan ice-cream. “We’re doing our own version of Neapolitan ice-cream, as probably one of the most iconic Australian things,” says Pedler. “We’ll present it in an almost Golden North-y [way], which we’re going to play on with native flavours. We’ll do a macadamia white, for example, and a native chocolate flavour.”
The chiko rolls will be served with cabbage, barley and a curry sauce, and there’ll be prawns and dam yabbies cooked over hot coals. Chef Georgina Fehring – formerly of Magill Estate Restaurant – will head up the kitchen.
Contrasting Frame Creative fit-outs will separate the two spaces Pedler and his team are taking over, with a new balcony under construction right now for the bright pink, ’70s-inspired cocktail bar that will find a home upstairs. “[It’s a] really rad ’70s-vibe bar that’s going to have amazing Australian cocktails, a balcony on Rundle Street, and something for everyone,” says Pedler. “There’s no pretentiousness upstairs.”
The name Two-Pot Screamer is less about the boozy colloquialism – a term for someone easily affected by alcohol – and more about representing the down-to-earth nature of Australian culture. “We love the honesty of it,” Pedler says.
285 Rundle Street isn’t the first local institution Pedler has transformed – he and his business partners are also behind the revitalisation of Adelaide icons Lion Arts Factory (formerly Fowlers Live), the West Oak Hotel (formerly Worldsend) and Joe’s Kiosk.
“We don’t just wanna take over a random corner store and create a new restaurant there,” says Pedler. “We want to work with the history of the city, the history of Adelaide hospitality,” says Pedler. “We’re trying to push the boundaries of hospitality and find niches and things that haven’t been done before, in ways that are exciting.”
Two-Pot Screamer is scheduled to open at 285 Rundle Street on Friday December 3.