Words by Jonathon Poulson.
With an abundance of snazzy new bars operating on Adelaide’s East End, Rundle Street is attracting more and more attention as a weekend nightlife hot spot.
In Adelaide, there are two very different sides to the city’s nightlife. You can either get lost in a blurry drunk haze on Hindley Street, jumping from one sweaty sticky nightclub to another. Or you can wonder down Adelaide’s East End crawling from one stunningly atmospheric bar to another – probably still in a blurry drunk haze, if you know the right places to go. There are plenty of hidden delights surrounding the East End, as most venues pride themselves on premium quality food, drinks and service. They’re also notorious for supporting the live music scene, with almost every bar, pub or club bringing in local bands and music acts helping create the lively social vibe that seems to pulsate from these ridiculously cute venues. Each venue creates an ambience perfect for sharing plenty-a-drink with friends, or that certain someone you’re keen to go on a date with.
Here is a list of seven of the best places to go for a chillaxed and boozy night out with friends or a significant other:
Tucked away down the very bottom of Rundle Street is Nola, a quaint and aesthetic bar dedicated to aged Whisky and decadent cocktails. They channel a New Orleans-style setting and the drinks menu matches as they serve over 90 different Australian and American whiskies. The upstairs bar is dim-lit and sets a romantic setting for a date night.
This cabaret club is the first of it’s kind in Adelaide, and appeals strongly to the LGBTQ community, but anyone and everyone are welcome. It’s located on the top floor of the old Apple Bar down Synagogue Place and plays classic dance tunes from Kylie to S Club 7 to Britney. The venue is stunningly decorated and follows a tropical-flamingo theme, and the DJ booth is a gorgeous sparkly white grand piano. It’s free entry always, and on a Friday or Saturday night you’re bound to catch a Drag and Burlesque show in action.
If the name isn’t a dead giveaway, the BRKLYN is a Brooklyn themed triple threat bar containing an in-house barbershop, deli and live broadcast music studio. This sure makes them unique to other venues around the East End. Although tweaked to suit an NYC theme, South Australia isn’t lost as their drinks menu is heavily focused on local wines and beers making this a cultured drinking spot with a very industrial feel.
Even for people who hate beer, their signature Belle-Vue Kriek cherry beer on tap is so deliciously smooth and tasty, plus you’ll be giggling uncontrollably and slurring your words after two. Their happy hour drinks specials are not to be missed and definitely won’t be heavy on your wallet. It’s almost always a perfect level of busy and much like other venues in the area, live acoustic music is played by local artists who smash the tunes well into the night.
Boosting the East Ends clubbing scene, Haçienda is Adelaide’s newest RnB, Funk and dance club and small bar. Holding South Australia’s biggest mirror ball, it’s the ideal place for a booze-infused boogie once you’ve reached your perfect level of drunkness. Down Synagoge place, it takes the ground floor below neighbour club Mary’s Poppin’.
This illuminating cocktail lounge creates a very romantic setting with a massive blue fish tank planted right next to the bar. There are private booths placed around the walls of the bar for you and your numero uno to ignite the spark and gaze into each other’s eyes. The aroma of fruity, sweet and rich flavours coming from the bar makes the selection from over 50 different cocktail combinations a very hard task. Especially when they’re at such a reasonable price.
Pirie & Co Social Club
The Social Club is a 1920s themed stage and bar that lives under the Pirie & Co. restaurant and holds live music events with new bands and solo artists performing every week. Cherie De Klerk sings lead in the band Ezra Hope, and she and the band think the east end nightlife is a revelation in supporting live music acts and keeping the culture alive. Playing at venues like Pirie & Co. and The Crown and Anchor have given the band a great opportunity to perform in front of people, trial their music and build up a fan base.
So if you aren’t sure what to do this weekend or you are sick of old Hindley Street, maybe venturing down the East End might be the option for you!