Just Open: Stray Neighbour, Preston

Inside the multi-zoned space.
Inside the multi-zoned space. Photo: Supplied

Given the steady gastronomic transformation of Thornbury, it was inevitable that the spread should continue further north. Preston is about to get stamped on the Melbourne food map thanks to a savvy crew with some real chops behind them.

Preston local Andrew Chew (Chew Burger, No Vacancy Gallery) has teamed up with co-owners brothers Ben and Daniel Stray (a builder and a landscaper, respectively), to create an impressive new space that looks like it might've been plucked straight from backstreet Fitzroy – Ghost Patrol artwork and all.

The team has converted the airy, 600-square-metre space (formerly a panel beater's) into a handsome, multi-zone area that includes comfortable booths, bar seating, a well-spaced dining area and heated courtyard.

Beetroot, goat's curd and sesame tuile at Stray Neighbour.
Beetroot, goat's curd and sesame tuile at Stray Neighbour. Photo: Supplied

Heading up the kitchen is Jacques Reymond alumna Romina Gagliardi, most recently of Bistro Gitan and also a local. She's focusing on well priced, Euro-influenced fare, with an emphasis on casual sharing, while ex-Bistro Gitan front of house Dave Coster is in charge of service, wines and the dozen or so craft beers on tap.

Open Tue-Thu 4pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 3pm-midnight; Sun noon-10pm.

Stray Neighbour, 463-467 Plenty Road, Preston, 9471 1948, strayneighbour.com.au