A Little Light Bar Crawling

Cage Under Lights
photo by Theen Moy, cc licensed
Peel Street … not actually this quiet …

As you’ll know if you live in Adelaide, our liquor licensing laws have changed, making it much easier for small venues to open.  And boy has there been a rush: bars are opening faster than … um, something very fast.

Thanks to an insanely hectic couple of weeks, I’ve actually had a chance to check out some bars, miss out on others and generally wear myself out.

What have I missed? Yes, I’m still the only person in Adelaide (or so it seems) who hasn’t yet been to Clever Little Tailor (CLT). In fact, I’ve got a friend who lives in London who’s been there so maybe I’m the only person in Australia … Every time I wander down Peel Street, CLT is full to the brim and I’m just not the kind of person who queues. In addition to this, I’m also old and grumpy and once I have my drink, I like to sit down quietly and have a nice chat. I guess I’ll just have to make sure that next time I head there I get there at 4pm when it opens!

So whizzing past CLT but staying on Peel Street, we headed in to Peel St, where we managed to find a sneaky seat at the bar, only to be told that it was booked for about 20 minutes or so. So now we book seats at bars in Adelaide? Peel St is actually more restaurant than bar and the menu, wine list and friendly service were enough for it to be put on the ‘to do’ list. If you want to head there for a meal I’d recommend booking. If you’re just having a cheeky drink, you’ll have to try your luck.

On the same evening, with still an hour or so to kill til our dinner reservation at Cos, we headed to Leigh Street. We knew that Udaberri would be totally rammed (and we were right) so we sat outside Casablabla and enjoyed a couple of drinks. We were actually able to hear each other talk! We left just before the belly dancing kicked in though …

On a separate occasion (this time a Wednesday night) I ducked in to Proof (at just 8 weeks or so old this is nowhere near the baby of the Adelaide bar scene …), and enjoyed a glass of Austrian Grüner Veltliner and a conversation with some friends. However, it was busy and I suspect come Friday nights you can expect to be shoulder to shoulder with the bar men (who, I might add, were nattily dressed in shirts, ties and waistcoats). Proof is on Anster Street, just off Waymouth Street (usually described as being behind Press*).

Meal wise on these occasions I ate at Cos, on Leigh Street, and Melt, on Waymouth Street. At Cos we had a lovely meal (sweetbreads, steak tartare and lemon tart for me, pork belly, fish and affogato for Andy, accompanied by Rieslingfreak No 8) and were very well looked after. At Melt, they were happy to adapt the tasting menu (insanely reasonably priced at $39 a head) to accommodate the vegan at our table. While some of the dishes were a little under-seasoned some were absolutely amazing. The stand out dish for me was the No 38 pizza: chargrilled courgette/zucchini, caramelised onion, speck, lemon and mint. That was one serious pizza.

This is just a tiny bite of the bars popping up all over Adelaide … what’s your favourite new drinking hole?

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