Andre Penascoza has worked stints at Hey Jupiter, A Mother’s Milk and Shobosho. In 2016 he moved back to his hometown, Manila in the Philippines, to open a number of cafes there. Now he’s bringing his expertise back to Adelaide – with friends Priestian Tudo and George Wong – to open new cafe Seven Grounds. The expansive 70-seater will open on Hawker Street in Brompton (in the former Taverna Greek Psistaria site) in November.
“We want to create a place that’s a destination,” Penascoza tells Broadsheet. “In Melbourne they've got Higher Ground and Sydney they've got the Grounds of Alexandria. Obviously that’s a larger scale, but there’s nothing like that in Adelaide. It’s just brunch spots.
“Being in Brompton and Bowden, it’s a really developing area. There are a lot of small businesses and young people, Pizza Meccanica just around the corner [plus] Oddio and Plant 4, which is already a hub for the locals. We really just want to add to the community and help this place develop even more.”
Coffee will come from pioneering Melbourne roaster St Ali (Seven Grounds will be the brand's first SA account); a single-origin and house blend will be pulled through a custom-built Synesso MVP espresso machine. There’ll also be batch brew, filter and V60 available.
But it’s not all about the coffee. Penascoza has brought on chef Mark Goode (ex-Electra House) to run the kitchen. The concise menu will involve “edgy but familiar” brunch items, elevated with Asian cooking techniques. Much of the menu will revolve around a wok, which will turn out dishes such as wok-fried eggs, and wok-tossed sausage, garlic soy egg and XO king oyster mushrooms on sourdough. Pastries will be by Bowden bakery The Lost Loaf.
“We’ll have a small daily menu of maybe 10 to 12 items, and then on top of [that] we’ll have our specials [where] our chef will play around with a single ingredient … on a seasonal basis,” says Penascoza.
Construction begins this week. The fit-out, by local firm Faculty (Kintaro, Hakata Ryumon Ramen) in collaboration with Sodo-Sopa, will contrast the “rigid” exterior of the building with an “open, spacious and soft” interior, says Penascoza. The ground floor will have an open kitchen, an open espresso bar in the centre of the room with bar seating, a large communal table and outdoor seating. A mezzanine will initially be used for extra seating but will eventually double as an event space. Penascoza wants to “do more for the community” and plans to host live art installations and gigs in the courtyard.
“Summer’s coming around so we’ll have live music outside during the day and possibly at night. We’ve got a full kitchen, a full bar and we’ll be licensed, but we’ll be focusing on establishing ourselves in the coffee and brunch scene [first] and then we’ll offer wines, beers and a small cocktail menu eventually.”
Seven Grounds is expected to open in December.
This article was updated on November 24, 2019.
Unit 1 28a Hawker Street, Brompton