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July 10, 2024
Habits

One yellow door closes, another door opens

The Gang Gang crew are opening another venue this spring, bringing everything people love about their brand to the Hills.

  • Words and pictures: Claudia Dichiera
  • Above from L—R: Nina and Morgen Wynn-Hadinata

On the day that Gang Gang co-owners Nina and Morgen Wynn-Hadinata decided to shut their flagship Parkside shop, they discovered a place near their Eden Hills home that was perfect for a Hills-based takeaway.

“It was the day we decided we were shutting Parkside and we were tired, we made a big decision. I was like ‘just go get us a pizza, I can’t be bothered cooking,’” Morgen says.

“And then she comes home and goes ‘so I found a shop’. I said ‘you’re fucking kidding me!’”

Nina says the shop next to their local Little Caesers Pizza place had for lease signs on the windows and she couldn’t help herself.

“I took a photo, sent it to Morgen,” Nina says. “And I was like [we] could handle this. It was small, takeaway.”

Remarks

Gang Gang Eden Hills
276 Shepherds Hill Road, Eden Hills 5050

Opening this spring

Connect:
Instagram

Although the couple laugh about how the circumstances played out, Morgen could also see the potential of the Eden Hills space.

“It was kind of like a no-brainer,” Morgen says. “It already was a takeaway joint [called Dumpling House] so it had the cool room, had all the amenities that we usually would invest in.

“And all the parking spaces for our trucks,” Nina adds.

“It was smart, I’ll give you that,” Morgen laughs.

This new space will be predominantly takeaway as they say it’s their strength. The pair say they can park their two famous catering trucks in the back and prep food in the shop for event jobs.

Parkside forever

 

Called Gang Gang Eden Hills, the new venture will have a similar feel to the original Parkside business, which closed in mid-June.

“I don’t really want to veer too much or I don’t want to change things too much. Because I think that menu, really, we didn’t change our menu for five years, [because] we didn’t have to,” Nina says.

“I think it’s more about the quality and keeping it consistent – and obviously putting specials on there and things like that – but realistically we’re sticking to the classic menu that everyone loved.”

As Nina says “everyone’s asking [her] where can they get [the classic burgers]”, the well-known Cardi B and Spice Girl options will be making a return to Eden Hills.

As for interiors, Nina and Morgen are “reusing some of the furniture that [they’ve] had made at Parkside” with similar colour choices as well.

“So I’m pretty sure it will be a yellow door [like Parkside]. Pretty sure, I have not decided,” Nina says.

“I’m team blue. But I understand why [the yellow],” Morgen adds.

“I feel like we might implement a couple of new colours. But for now, I really do feel like we’re trying to stay true to what was originally us,” Nina responds.

“I already know I’m just in denial,” Morgen laughs. “Maybe I’ll paint a kitchen wall blue and I’ll be done!”

The famous yellow door may be coming back. This picture: Angela Skujins.

Nina and Morgen are taking inspiration from Courage Bagels in Los Angeles and want to recreate that feel at Eden Hills.

“So it’s like a hole in the wall, like a corner shop – really cute, but they make their own bagels and it’s literally a window,” Nina says.

“They put cute little painted milk crates out and umbrellas and stalls and it just slowly progressed onto the outside area.

“That would be where I would see this going. But for now, I’m going to try to keep it as simple as possible and just start cooking.”

Although the locale is further from the usual Gang Gang ventures – they also own 99 Gang Social and Thirsty Tiger on Hindley Street – it’s close to home for Morgen and Nina.

“Because we are locals here, we know how much is in the area we know what’s lacking,” Morgen says.

“And there’s so much going on in this particular strip, you’ve got the high school, primary school, rec centre, community centre, sports grounds.

“So there’s a lot going on and… this is probably the one flat strip in our area so we know that people can actually walk to us as well.”

Morgen and Nina inside the Eden Hills venture

 

Despite the excitement that comes with opening a new venue, Nina and Morgen are still sad about leaving their original brick-and-mortar in Parkside in mid-May.

But they say “the time was up” becuase their “lease was up [at Parkside]” and they had “increased the rent pretty drastically”.

“I also think just with how life is going, you do notice a dip –  the economy is the way it is – people don’t want to spend that much anymore,” Nina says.

“We couldn’t justify putting that onto the customer either so we would have to absorb that.

“Then it became one of those things where [for] us personally too, do we want to do another five years and just do this out of love and be tired and stretched too thin? Those were all the things that came into play.

“We had to make that tough decision and yeah, it’s just like, it’s not worth it.”

Gang Gang Parkside featuring artwork by Alex Bellas. This picture: Angela Skujins.

They built a community that motivated them to their very last day of trade. They hope this community will grow at Eden Hills.

“I mean we cried all day [on the last day of trade] on Sunday,” Nina says.

“Like customers were crying too. It was eye-opening. I guess you don’t really realise how much you’ve done with the community. We built it at Parkside.”

“Everybody came from all walks of life. You know, even people who we’ve [catered] their weddings years prior, all the people on the street, friends, family, just everybody was there together,” Gang Gang co-owner Morgen says.

“By the end of it, I had like a bottle of Prosecco just walking around with tears streaming. People were like ‘are you ok?’ and I’m like ‘no’.

“But, it was actually a really fun day. It was probably the best way for us to leave.”

Gang Gang Eden Hills is located at 276 Shepherds Hill Road, Eden Hills with a planned opening in spring.

Connect with the business on Instagram for more.

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