The plan was to open B’Stilla Cantina – the “little sister” of Moroccan restaurant B’Stilla in South Yarra – this Thursday in Fitzroy. But due to a two-to-three-month wait on a gas meter, cooking is out of the question. Instead of putting the operation on hold, Jones is opening a pop-up oyster and wine bar, playfully named, Waiting for Gas.
The pop-up will shut down to make room for the new Moroccan street-food concept the moment the gas arrives, be that in three weeks or three months. Until then there are only cold dishes on the menu, but Jones isn’t fussed.
“Because the weather is starting to warm up, I’m not disappointed. I’m actually excited about doing something for an unknown period of time and then getting the opportunity to refresh it with something different; it’s kind of fun,” says Jones.
Oysters will be paired with toppings such as cucumber sorbet and chipotle and lime, while imported tinned fish, cured fish and ceviche will also be main draw cards. Cheese and charcuterie, as well as aromatic salads, sandwiches and wraps, will be available to eat in (there are 20 seats inside, another 20 outside) or takeaway.
Although the liquor licence hasn’t come through, Waiting for Gas expects to be pouring by opening day. If all goes to plan there will be one red, one white and one sparkling to sip, alongside, “a tinny, a crafty and a longy”.
The pop-up is located on the main Brunswick Street drag where San Churro used to be. It’s a small, colourful space that Jones describes as a “Moroccan alleyway”. A Fitzroy local himself, Jones is looking forward to being able to walk home at night, as well as not having to convince his mates to cross the Yarra, or as he calls it, “The Great Divide”.
Waiting for Gas will open on Thursday December 11.
Waiting for Gas (soon to be B’Stilla Cantina)
277B Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9417 2858
Wed to Fri noon–11pm
Sat & Sun noon–1am
Update: Following the press on Waiting for Gas, the gas company has offered to install the meter as soon as possible. The venue will trade under Waiting for Gas from Thursday December 11 until Monday December 15. It will then reopen on Wednesday December 17 as B'Stilla Cantina.