The small bar scene’s advance into the suburbs is continuing at pace, with the arrival of Pastel Wine Bar in North Adelaide next month. The new neighbourhood bar and dining room, which brings together Elijah Makris and Saba Maghsoudi of Pinco Deli and design agency Studio Mazi, Daniel Vaughan of 1000 Island and artist and designer James Brown (Africola, Chicco Palms, Valentino’s), is taking over the former L’Italy site on O’Connell Street.
For Vaughan, who’s also clocked time behind the bar at Osteria Oggi, the new bar is surfing a new wave of confidence – from patrons and operators – in suburban venues: one he attributes to the boom of neighbourhood joints like Bar Lune, Arkhe, Good Gilbert and Anchovy Bandit. (Not to mention the public’s changed travel and dining habits since Covid.)
“You can see the success of these types of bars overseas and in the eastern states, so it’s fantastic to see more and more Adelaidians venture out and support them,” Vaughan tells Broadsheet.
“North Adelaide has definitely been slower to embrace Adelaide’s new wave of hospitality. But we hope to bring new energy and be part of a more significant cultural shift in the area.”
He’s also looking forward to the community vibes that come with a neighbourhood bar. “We’ve been building here for about six weeks now and I’ve been seeing the same people walking past, saying hi, with their coffees from Cibo,” says Vaughan. “It’s been really nice.”
The team sees Pastel as “a place of refuge from the city hustle”. And they’ve enlisted Brown and Sabrina Sterk of design studio 2049 to conceive a warm and welcoming interior – one that’ll feature glossy nutmeg and tobacco-coloured timber panelling on the walls alongside ceramic tiles and marble countertops, brought to life by Sam Weckert of Tiger Build. There’ll also be custom sconce lighting, art by Brown and Sterk, and a lush courtyard where DJs will set up.
As for the food, Vaughan’s promising “big flavours”. The team’s brought on a former Peel Street chef and a former Gin Long Canteen chef (both of whom can’t yet be named) to assemble a dynamic menu traversing Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Think fresh pita swiped through whipped ricotta with za’atar and honey; kingfish sashimi with nam jim; pork and prawn dumplings; octopus and skordalia; and Lebanese-style chicken skewers with fattoush, toum, pickles and pita.
The food will be backed by a wine list devoted to both new-school and more conventional drops (there’ll be familiar names using unfamiliar grapes, or familiar varietals by unfamiliar producers, says Vaughan) plus cocktails made with seasonal ingredients, including a Negroni made with fresh peach (ideal pre-dinner) and another bitter variation with Willow Bend coffee-infused Campari and aged rum (for post-dinner). Plus, a dirty Martini, Cosmopolitan with mandarin three ways, and a house spritz served with a Sicilian olive.
Pastel Wine Bar will open by November at 47 O’Connell Street, North Adelaide.