Cardone’s Seafood & Grill hasn’t looked back since converting from a fish and chippery to a contemporary restaurant four years ago.
The Jetty Road establishment, which won back to back Restaurant and Catering Awards for Best Seafood Restaurant in 2014 and 2015, was formerly known as Jack’s Fish Shack. Owner Nick Cardone decided a change was needed, so the fish and chip shop became a more formal premises that focuses not only on seafood, but pasta as well as dishes that feature poultry and lamb.
“We’ve been extremely happy with the results,” Cardone says. “The changeover was just amazing, going from very casual to something that really Glenelg doesn’t have: formal dining.
“We rate highly on Trip Advisor and Urban Spoon, we get a lot of reviews on Facebook,” he continues. “We get a lot of regular customers every night. We’re only a 70 seater. We fill up most nights. Half the people who come in have been here before.”
The general manager and head chef are the husband and wife team of Jackson and Aerin Martini. Jackson, who did his apprenticeship at Citrus and who worked with his wife at Assaggio, oversaw the menu change from the fish shack to the current restaurant. They made the switch four years ago. Despite the change, one thing remained: their focus on customer service.
“We’re very food and customer service orientated people. I think that’s part of the success that has built it to what it is today,” Cardone says.
“We have customers who come here on a bi-weekly basis, once a week or once a fortnight,” Aerin says. “The regular clientele who come in every Sunday night, we know exactly what they’re after, so it’s a really nice relationship we build with people. You get to know their names, get to know their stories, and have that friendliness about it rather than getting people in and turning tables over. We’ve got that real connection with people.”
Even though they made a drastic change four years ago, the trio don’t believe in resting on their laurels.
“I think to stay competitive in the hospitality and restaurant game in Adelaide you have to continually reinvent yourself and stay up to date and relevant,” Aerin says. “I think that’s where a lot of restaurants go wrong: they don’t make those changes and they don’t adapt. Jack’s Fish Shack was great but it had its day. It served its purpose but in terms of the refurb it was very different to what the restaurant looks like now. It looked like a seaside shack. That only appeals to a certain crowd. We wanted something that was clean and contemporary.”
For the future, they are looking to offer more.
“Lots of things are being thrown around,” Aerin says. “We are looking at expanding the business now that we are cemented as a good restaurant in Glenelg.”
Cardone’s Seafood & Grill
Shop 4, 108 Jetty Road
Open seven days a week, lunch 12pm-3pm, dinner 6pm-late
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