Luke Stringer and Ashleigh Bates are turning up the heat on Paddington’s dining scene.
On Tuesday the couple opened Winner Winner – a chicken- and craft-beer joint on Given Terrace.
“People are looking to be in the ‘burbs, not the CBD,” says Stringer of Paddington’s resurgent high street. “Two years ago there wasn’t anywhere to go … that’s why people are out and about now, because there’s a place to be.”
Stringer is best known as the former GM of Olé Group (Olé, The Sangria Bar, Downtown Istanbul). Bates for her role as sommelier at the now-defunct Ortiga in Fortitude Valley. Taking over the space that once housed Ruby Café, the pair has ditched that venue’s distinctive red for a striking palette of black, white and orange.
A large window at the rear of the venue brings the leafy Paddington backstreets into the dining space and tiled bar. Downstairs, a long table is ideal for larger groups. A row of booths offers intimacy from the bustle above. Kerbside seating is under a sea of festoon lights.
Chicken is, of course, the hero here, and from the small kitchen the team churns out crispy, spiced morsels – available in original, medium and hot.
Cuts range from tenders and wings, to dark meat (drumstick and thigh) and a signature chicken burger (chicken thigh, jack cheese, special sauce and iceberg lettuce). These come with a choice of side (curly fries, onion rings, pickles). There’s also a selection of meal packs for those with a serious hunger to tame.
The bar serves craft beers such as Stone & Wood and Green Beacon. Bates has also curated a quality wine list.
The dining is designed with drinking in mind, and Stringer is adamant about the venue honouring late-night trade. “Everybody in Brisbane says 11am till late and to them late means nine,” he says. “We want to become known as that place where you can get something to eat [late at night] that’s not McDonalds or Dominos.”
233A Given Terrace, Paddington
Mon & Tue 5pm–late
Wed to Fri 11am–late
Sat & Sun 10am–late