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April 10, 2019
Habits

Introducing Stall 1195: Some nice people doing a nice thing in the Adelaide Hills

Good for the cyclists, vegans, and gluten-free among us.

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  • Words and pictures: Johnny von Einem

In a former service station and general store on Greenhill Road, Betty Bird and Carlo Russo have created what might be the most homely café in all the Adelaide Hills, Stall 1195.

The first member of the team to greet CityMag is Tansy, an affectionate four-legged ball of fluff, followed by Betty, who formally welcomes us into the café.

Remarks

Stall 1195
1195 Greenhill Road, Uraidla 5143
Saturday: 10am-3pm
Sunday: 9am-2pm
Monday: 9am-3pm

On our left, a plush couch and coffee table sits next to a collection of potted greenery soaking up the mid-morning light, while on our right is a large communal dining table. Betty asks how we take our coffee and then pours from a six-cup Bialetti Moka Express macchinetta that’s just boiled on a portable induction stovetop.

Since opening in September, the business has “only had about four walk-outs,” Betty says of her decision to offer stovetop coffee.

“We like that sort of coffee and we just thought, well that’s something a little bit different. I remember going out to a little pizza place in town called Etica, and they do those coffees. We thought ‘Oh wow, this is a really popular place and that’s what they do. Let’s give that a try.’”

It’s an experience far removed from the espresso and filter coffee shops we’re used to frequenting, and all the more memorable because of it.

Stall 1195’s parapet mural was designed and painted by local artist Nadika Suartika

 

Hills natives will remember Betty’s former pop-up in the Ashton community hall, Betty Bird’s Delicious Breakfasts, and the fare at Stall 1195 follows a similar line.

In the kitchen, Carlo, who spent 17 years cooking at Piatto on Rundle Street, executes a tight home-style menu made from seasonal produce, predominantly grown or foraged by Betty. There are some items containing meat and gluten, but special effort has been made to make the menu broadly accessible.

The ‘egg and bacon hash melt’ swaps a glutinous base for a potato and beetroot hash brown, and a vegan version features house-made vegan mozzarella.

“We only use tiny bits of meat, like we use little bits of bacon, but the meat dishes aren’t selling anymore, it’s all the vegan dishes and the vegetarian dishes that seem to be going,” Betty says.

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when the café is closed, Carlo runs a bike workshop in a room adjoining the café.

“It’s just basically bike maintenance. I don’t want to sell bikes or parts, that’s another ball game altogether. I’m just here to maintain, service bikes during the week,” he says.

The concept that underlies Stall 1195 is simple – Betty and Carlo have built a business around doing what they enjoy.

“We want to keep it as just us here, we don’t want to employ other people. Keep it simple,” Carlo explains.

Carlo in the workshop

 

Remarks

Stall 1195 is holding a group exhibition this Friday, 12pm featuring work from artists Caitlin Fuller, Dominique Keeley, Louis FARK, Mat Morison, Nick Rix, Sarah Burley, Maggie and Tonks and The Tit Club, and performances by musicians Effie and Jem.

See the Facebook event for more details.

Stall 1195 is also a family affair; Betty’s daughter, Boudicca, runs social media and programs arts events in the space, like the group exhibition opening this Friday, 12 April (that will also feature a vegan shepherd’s pie from an elder sibling), while her two younger children work the floor on busy days. Carlo’s daughter also supplies the café with cakes.

With so much care and comfort flowing through the room, sinking into the couch by the window with a macchinetta brew feels like returning home to your parents’ place for Easter or Christmas.

“We wanted to create something where people can come and hang out, nice music, nice food, healthy, good food that’s home cooked, and I think we’ve pretty well done it,” Betty smiles.

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