The latest venture from the group that owns the West Oak, Lion Arts Factory, Super Bueno and Joe’s at Henley, is bringing a fine dining perspective to Chiko Rolls and Bunnings snags at the old Restaurant Orana site.
Two Pot Screamer is a restaurant in search of nostalgic Australian food
On Friday, 3 December, Two Pot Screamer, the latest venture from Penny Hospitality Group, will open at the former Rundle Street site of Orana and Bistro Blackwood.
Hugo Pedler, Penny Hospitality’s founder, brought Two Pot Screamer into the space after spending years working on and refining what he calls an “Australian fusion” concept.
The hospitality entrepreneur first considered running the concept at a pop-up during Fringe he planned to call Ridgy Didge.
The concept then was for a “really rude Aussie food truck vibe”, but the demands of West Oak, which he had only recently taken over at the time, got in the way.
Some years later, Two Pot Screamer has built upon that initial idea, bringing together nostalgic Australian foods and fine dining execution.
“As my career’s progressed, that’s really stuck in my mind of, I really want to have this representation of Australian culture through what I think is fun Australian food,” Hugo says.
“It’s not fine dining… [but] we’ll have beautiful food. We have the amazing Georgina (Fehring, formerly a chef at Magill Estate) to represent that for us, but it’s taking away, from a service perspective, everything about fine dining, and redoing it in what we think should be fine dining.”
On the food front, the references Hugo wants to hit are the “Chiko Roll, the Bunnings snag, Neapolitan ice cream, like a Golden North vibe”.
While the ground-level space will have table service, the restaurant will be “booze-driven” and “all about having a good time”.
“The experience you’ll get, it’s an Australian backyard barbecue, but in an amazing venue with fine dining food,” Hugo says.
Upstairs will be the Two Pot Screamer bar, where there will be a snacks menu, which may develop into a larger offering depending on how the public chooses to use the space.
Table service is not offered upstairs, to suit its more relaxed feel.
Aside from the restaurant’s Champagne offering (an homage, Hugo says, to the space’s history as Universal Wine Bar, founded by Shaw & Smith’s Michael Hill Smith, which he says was “the beginning of great French and Italian wines in Adelaide”), the wine list is entirely Australian.
The spirits list, too, is highly parochial, and there will be a cocktail list that plays into the nostalgic Australiana theme.
“We’ll play on things, like a Hills Hoist cocktail, which will take the flavours of a Fruity Lexia but recreate it into an actual cocktail that’s amazing,” Hugo says.
“We’re taking the flavour profiles, but doing it in a serious way, but also having a lot of fun with it. There’s no pretentiousness about this place, and that’s what I really like.”
Hugo plans for Two Pot Screamer to regularly kick on until 2am, with food service going until around 9:30pm.
Design of the space has come from Frame Creative, which has come on as a business partner in the project.
Frame is also partner in the West Oak and Lion Arts Factory, and the design firm has branded other projects for Penny Hospitality.
Simon Pearce, a founder of Frame, says the project was a quick sell for him – which was lucky, given the Hugo’s proposed eight-week turnaround for the restaurant.
“Hugo told me about the vision, and I was like, ‘Yeah, love it. Love the name. I’m in.’ And then literally went away, modelled the space up,” Simon says.
“We pulled the design together in two days, literally, and then had to start ordering everything to get it in time, because shipping globally is a nightmare.”
After pulling in a lot of favours, Simon managed to bring in plenty of custom elements to the Two Pot Screamer fitout inside the eight-week timeframe, including chairs and lights, which all work towards a ‘70s Australiana design aesthetic.
A major aspect of the site’s renovation was the addition of a balcony, which was constructed with help from the Maras Group.
This act of support “was the turning point for me,” Hugo says, and convinced him investing in the East End was a worthwhile pursuit.
With Fringe approaching, Hugo is excited to now be part of the community.
“I love Rundle Street. Always loved Rundle Street. I started my career in Little Miss Mexico with [Stuart Duckworth] in the East End, Fringe obviously being such a big part of it,” he says.
“I think the good operators have survived and are still doing really great stuff, and I’m excited to work with everyone in the East End on East End revival.
“We don’t need the hospital, we have our own thing going for us, and we can band together and push forward.”
Two Pot Screamer is located at 285 Rundle Street and will operate 4pm ’til late Tuesday through Thursday and 12pm ‘til late Friday through Sunday.