After nine years on Waymouth Street, Press Food & Wine is up for sale. It’s news that will disappoint many, but managing partner Eloise Riggs is feeling upbeat.
“It’s exciting … I feel really good about it. [Almost] 10 years, in restaurant years, is pretty bloody amazing and we’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved,” says Riggs, who owns the restaurant with partners Simon Kardachi, Andy Davies, Sally Davey and Tim White.
“We feel like [now] is a good time to go out while we’re still strong, and while we still love it. Now it’s time for new things, and for someone else to hopefully put their stamp on the space.”
The business went on the market on Friday through Commercial Adelaide and is available with the full fit-out.
Riggs says the sale isn’t due to a downturn in trade – the five partners had long planned to move on as they neared the 10-year mark.
“It’s not a new decision for us, this year probably [delayed] the announcement,” she says. “2020 has been an intense year, but Press is still going strong and we feel like now is the right time for someone else to take on that beautiful space.”
When Press opened in September 2011, it was an integral part of the rejuvination of Adelaide’s dining scene, and only the second CBD venue for Kardachi (after Melt next door). It was an early champion of nose-to-tail and communal dining.
“When we first opened we joined Georges and Bistro Dom on Waymouth Street, but Press ended up being this landmark restaurant in that location,” says Riggs. “The Peel and Leigh Street precinct wasn’t there. So it kickstarted this really exciting change in the Adelaide dining landscape.”
After Press, Kardachi went on to open Proof, Osteria Oggi, Maybe Mae, Bread & Bone, Shobosho, Shosho, Nido and more. Many of the managing partners at those venues, such as Proof’s Joseph Wilkinson, Maybe Mae’s Ollie Margan and Shosho’s Chris Woodcock, cut their teeth at Press.
“It will be emotional to say goodbye,” says Riggs. “It’s been a decade of our lives. But I will not miss those stairs,” she laughs, referring to the staircase between the ground-floor and upstairs dining room she’d have to traverse many times during service.
As for her next move? “I’m open to ideas,” says Riggs. “I’m looking forward to a little bit of downtime. And I’ve got some plans simmering away, but I’m going to keep it open at the moment, and see if an opportunity might present itself.”