The weather’s hot, the bar’s open and the disco tunes are blaring onto High Street in Preston. This is Takeaway Pizza, the latest venue from the team behind Dexter, which is just across the road.
“It’s a random, fun and no-fuss place I’d want to go to myself for a rosé in the sun, or for late-night silliness,” says Sam Peasnell, who co-owns Takeaway and Dexter with his brother Tom and their friend Adam Goldblatt.
There’s no cutlery here, and no table service. It’s a casual pizza joint serving American-style slices to eat-in or take away. But it’s also a bar and late-night hangout serving wine by local producers and tropical cocktails.
“We felt that Preston could do with a late-night party place, to roll into without a booking and share a good time with mates,” says Peasnell. “We want to be a neighbourhood bar that’s inclusive for everyone, so we’ve tailored the menu with that in mind.”
The all-night slice menu has only four options – cheese, pepperoni, a meat pizza and a vegetarian pizza – but the whole-pizza list is more extensive and has a number of vegetarian options. You can order a gluten-free base, or vegan mozzarella for an extra $2.
The regular pizza dough has been fermented for three days and is cooked into a thin base with crunchy edges.
“We’re making everything we can in-house with a bit of a no-rules attitude, because we’re certainly not Italian,” says Peasnell. It’s the same approach the team has taken at Dexter, which is known for its innovative and original take on barbeque.
Tomatoes are cold-smoked to maintain sweetness while adding smokiness; pastrami is cured in-house for 10 days, and then smoked. Peasnell’s favourite pizza is topped with that pastrami and shaved frozen bone marrow, a drizzle of meat sauce and spring onion.
“It just has the most interesting and delicious flavour that’s rich and earthy.”
Julian Brown, formerly with cocktail bar Milk and Honey in New York, has put together a tiki-style cocktail list centred on rum, mescal and tequila. A 12-bottle wine list features enveloping-pushing, small-scale producers such Jamsheed and Alpha Box and Dice. The names will rotate every month and have a focus on minimal-intervention and uncommon overseas varietals.
When the sun goes down, candles are lit and the disco ball begins to turn, throwing dappled light on the floral wallpaper up back. The black and white harlequin-patterned floor and bar is made with second-hand tiles repurposed from another pizza shop.
“We just wanted to create a fun and approachable space to have a good time,” says Peasnell. “I think we’ve achieved that.”
535 High Street, Preston
(03) 9044 6850
Tue to Thu 4pm–11pm
Fri & Sat 4pm–1am
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