A charmingly low-key joint with drawing paper on the tables and wallet-friendly negronis, wine carafes and pasta dishes for just $9 a pop.
It's only early days, but unassuming Fitzroy North newbie Good Times is already pulling queues. And it's not hard to see why. The laidback St George's Road eatery is doing a bang-up job of living up to its name, with cheerful, honest dishes and a comfy, home-spun vibe ticking all the right boxes for northside's savvy dining set.
For Bryce Ritchie — who started Good Times along with fellow hospitality veterans and mates Sean McMeekin, Colin Mala and Jeremy Hines — it's all about keeping things simple and, most importantly, fun.
The venue is only open Friday to Sunday and it has zero in the way of a website or social media channels. The space has been stripped right back, too, courtesy of the boys' own fast handiwork.
It's lit by candles stuffed into bottles, while butcher's paper-covered tables and glasses filled with golf pencils inspire diners to unleash some creativity instead of whipping out their phones. The soundtrack's delightfully eclectic and, on chillier nights, you'll even find small bonfires warming up the back courtyard, with randoms getting acquainted over free marshmallows.
From the kitchen comes a cheerfully simple, produce-focused offering, where pasta is the star of the show. You might tuck into a classic puttanesca or carbonara, or perhaps a bowl of fresh pipis tossed in white wine and herbs. A vegan ratatouille on rice is already proving a firm favourite, while platters of charcuterie, fruit and cheese are ideal for after-work drop-ins.
Best of all, these good times are also easy on the wallet — you'll always find at least one $9 pasta in the mix, alongside $9 negronis, $9 craft beers and $9 carafes of wine. In fact, most of the menu clocks in at just a few bucks more than that, which is a good thing, considering this is the kind of place that'll have you coming back again and again.
Images: Kate Shanasy.