It's hard to walk too far on The Parade without tripping over some great food, but Matt Mitchell and Quentin Whittle of new(ish) eatery Stone’s Throw are planning to bring more than just food to the area.
Main Street Week: Stone’s Throw
More than anything else, it was the potential of the venue that sold Matt Mitchell on the former Grace the Establishment site.
CityMag is spending the next five days on The Parade Norwood. These profiles are part of a new series called Mainstreet Week, where we look into the past, present and future of Adelaide’s highest profile strips.
Find Stone’s Throw at 127 The Parade, Norwood and they are open Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 11am-11pm; on Thursdays from 11am-12.30am; and on Friday and Saturdays from 11am-2am. Closed Mondays.
“I don’t think you’ll find a venue like this anywhere,” Matt says. “To have an atrium like this, and a cool courtyard already made for you.”
In June last year, he and his business partners took over the space under the Grace the Establishment name, but quickly realised winning back locals might be more work than they’d anticipated.
“Grace the Establishment, when we took it over it was pretty run down, burgers and all of that kind of deep fried food, which we stayed with for a little while and realised it really wasn’t something we were proud of doing, and needed to change,” Matt says.
In February this year, Matt brought in Quentin Whittle, who suburban café-hoppers might recognise as the original mind behind The Stranded Store in Colonel Light Gardens. With Quentin’s input, they decided to start from scratch – name and all.
“We realised that the brand was probably a lot more damaged than what we thought. We made a decision with Q and Brett [Viney], my business partner, that it had to change for us to move forward, and to really do the food that we were serving justice, we had to change the name,” Matt says.
And thus, Stone’s Throw was introduced to The Parade.
“I guess the concept behind Stone’s Throw is that it’s local, it’s a stone’s throw away from everyone,” says Matt.
Dramatic though a name change might be, the actual process of change has been incredibly gradual.
“What we started out doing was… a pub style menu, so I thought ‘instead of making a massive jump, we’ll do that same menu, but just tweak it a bit, just done in more of a made-to-order way,’” Quentin says.
“And since that, every week we’ve changed and changed and changed to what we are, which really is just casual dining, but made with love and authenticity, and focussing on seasonal produce and provenance.
“I’m never happy. Every week we try and get better at what we do [so] it is that constant change of produce.”
The venue itself will also undergo some physical changes, with the entire front section set to become a wine and cocktail-focussed bar, hopefully up and running by February next year.
“What happens on The Parade is there’s a shift [of] people going into the city on a Friday or Saturday night, [which is] why we want to put a bar at the front for people to stay and have a cocktail afterwards, and be a bit more of a one-stop shop for people to have a night experiencing different things,” Matt says.
“We don’t want to go away from being what we are, which is a traditional restaurant out here… so we want to almost create two different venues that work hand-in-hand with each other.”
It’s yet another addition to the slowly expanding Norwood nightlife, and the way Matt sees it, there’s no better spot for a new night district to develop.
“I love it out here. It’s really good. On The Parade there’s a lot more foot traffic, and where we really fall away in January and February in the CBD, The Parade is heaving. It’s awesome,” He says.
“People are in a good mood, because they’re on foot, they’re not driving, and you can get a bit more of that people sitting around, enjoying the courtyard, enjoying the food. It’s a lot more relaxed.”
You’ve sold us, Matt.