Names like Ghost Patrol and Jacques Reymond are rarely spoken of when discussing Preston. Neither are words like local craft brews and biodynamic wines. But just like us, suburbs can grow and develop. A beautiful outcome of gentrification. Stray Neighbour the new Preston local is bringing the outer suburb somewhere locals can go at dinnertime for a bite to eat and a cold brew.
The three in charge, all locals, we should probably point out – Andrew Chew (Chew Burger and No Vacancy Gallery) Ben Stray a builder, and Daniel Stray a landscape gardener created the space out of an old panel beaters shop. The Stray brothers worked for months building the space into what it is today, which is all high ceilings, exposed beams, hanging lights, rustic booths, an inviting bar, and Ghost Patrol artwork on the walls.
When it comes to the menu, Romina Gagliardi is in charge. With a resume listing the likes of Jacques Reymond and Bistro Gitan, it makes sense that a European inspired menu is on offer. It sees freshly shucked oysters, leek and Gruyere croquettes, open prawn ravioli with tomato broth, and crispy pork belly with white bean puree and red cabbage. A solid cheese selection sits besides pear and spiced caramel mille-feuille to round out the menu.
Beer is the focus of this venue. 12 custom-made beer taps have been installed for full drinking pleasure. Tap beers from 4 Pines and Feral Brewing Company are all fit with quirky dog bobble heads and will rotate regularly. General Manager, Dave Coster is the man behind the wine list, which is intriguing, filled with biodynamic wines (mainly Australian names), and prices we can get on board with. While beer is the focus, cocktails aren’t out of the question.
This new exciting venue just shows you that in Melbourne, it doesn’t matter where you are, the desire for good quality venues is alive and well. If you build it, they will come.
463 Plenty Road, Preston