Luke Stringer is returning to Paddington.
The restaurateur first made his mark on the Brisbane dining scene with Hamptons Home Living – a boutique homeware store and cafe on Latrobe Terrace.
Now, he’s set to open Winner Winner. A craft beer and chicken joint, the venue is a collaboration with Stringer’s girlfriend, Ashleigh Bates (Ortiga). The couple is setting up shop in the former Given Terrace premises of Ruby Café.
Plenty of fresh blood has been injected into the Paddington food and beverage scene recently. It’s one of the reasons behind Stringer and Bates’ decision to open in the area. “All of a sudden you’ve got 10 venues in a short strip that you’ll happily walk up and down from, giving people a reason to amble up here,” Stringer says. “There’s a bit of a younger scene and people are doing really interesting stuff.”
Work hasn’t yet begun on the venue, but Stringer says clean lines, greenery and neon signage are all planned for the space. Kerbside seating will utilise the footpath frontage.
The menu will offer Nashville-style chicken and craft beers as well as a wine list that draws on Bates’ extensive experience. Yet to employ a chef, Stringer has been trialling a “secret recipe” at home, drawing inspiration from the likes of Melbourne’s Belle’s Hot Chicken. “KFC is one of those things that you only ever eat when you’re really hungover, whereas I want to deliver a chicken product that you’re happy to eat everyday,” he says.
Stringer is best known as general manager of the Olé Restaurant Group (Olé, The Sangria Bar, Downtown Istanbul), but a change in direction from the company allowed him to focus on his own projects. “I had a great four years with those guys,” he says. “Their new direction gave me the opportunity to branch out and do my own thing.”
Winner Winner is set to open in November.