Restaurant News

Adelaide's JoyBird is closing

Just six months after opening, the rôtisserie chicken restaurant from the Shobosho team will hold its last service this weekend.

By Yvonne C Lam
JoyBird manager Linh-Chi Nguyen (from left), director Simon Kardachi, development chef Yumi Nagaya, executive chef Adam Liston, drinks curator Ollie Margan, Chris Woodcock and head chef Dexter Kim.
Adelaide's Joybird has confirmed the rotisserie-chicken restaurant is closing its doors this weekend, just six months after opening. Its final service will be on Sunday 8 March.
Co-owner Adam Liston says the reason to close the 110-seater restaurant in Hyde Park, which opened in September 2019, was a business and financial decision, spurred by diners' reluctance to pay the premium prices for ethically sourced chicken.
"We wanted to do a rôtisserie-style chicken place, with chickens that weren't caged or treated poorly," he said. "Joybird sits in an affluent area in one of the richest suburbs in Adelaide. But still, it's hard to compete when Coles is selling a cooked chicken for seven dollars."
He acknowledges that balancing good-food morals, customer expectations and profitability is a tough act – some diners want to eat ethically but can't afford the price tag that comes with the lifestyle; others have the cash, but eating ethical chicken is not a priority.
At JoyBird, the signature wood-fired chickens are cooked on a custom rotisserie grill (it cost a cool $50,000), and served in three different styles: traditional salt brine, teriyaki or a Balinese yellow curry. A whole chicken, served with one side, is listed as $34 on their dine-in menu.
Liston says he has "no ego" surrounding JoyBird's closure, but still feels some heartache. The restaurant's concept was inspired by Liston's childhood visits to his local chicken shop in Adelaide's Greenwood – even now, he still regularly visits the same takeaway joint with his daughter. "It's disappointing, but it's not the end of the world," he says. Still, he's proud JoyBird maintained its commitment to well-sourced chicken. "It was an ethical line that we weren't prepared to compromise."
Joybird will have its final service on Saturday 8 March.
164 King William Road, Hyde Park, SA.