Good Times co-owner Bryce Ritchie says the idea for his late-night pasta spot came together in just 72 hours. He sat down with co-owners Sean McMeekin, Jeremy Hines and Colin Mala and a pencil and paper. They wrote a down what they did and didn’t like about hospitality and the restaurant industry. Good Times is the product of those lists.
The restaurant is open just three days a week, and it doesn’t have much of an online presence. You won’t find an Instagram or Facebook page, a website, or even a Google listing. The team likes the idea of their eatery being shared mostly by word-of-mouth.
Inside, mismatched wooden tables are covered in large sheets of butcher’s paper. On each there is a candle in an old bottle, wax dripping down the sides, and a latte glass full of pencils. As the night goes on and the 75-capacity space fills up, each table becomes covered in drawings. They range from amateurish and vulgar to genuinely impressive, from portraits to poems and comics. On the stereo you’ll hear a mix that might include 1930s Indonesian pop, or old-school American blues.
Every weekend a new menu of seven dishes is revealed, scrawled on a page tacked to the wall. The following week they start fresh. Dishes cost up to $14, but there’ll always be a $9 pasta. A classic puttanesca is rich with tomato, chilli, garlic, capers and (optional) anchovies; three-cheese ravioli is pan-fried with sage and butter; amatriciana is heavy with smoky bacon; and fresh South Australian pipis come with mussels and a white wine and garlic sauce.
There’s prosciutto and homemade grissini for snacking, perfect with a $9 Negroni or carafe of wine. For dessert, there’s tartufo (Italian ice-cream from Calabria) with Kahlua and fresh strawberries, and out the back there’s a courtyard vegetable garden where you can roast marshmallows over an open fire.