The advance of the small bar scene into the suburbs continues with the arrival of Pastel Wine Bar in North Adelaide next month. The new neighborhood 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), takes over the former L’Italy site on O’Connell Street.
For Vaughan, who is also behind the bar at Osteria Oggi, the new bar is surfing a new wave of trust — from patrons and operators alike — in suburban haunts: one he attributes to the boom in neighborhood haunts like Bar Lune, Arkhe, Good Gilbert and Anchovies Bandit. (Not to mention the changing travel and eating habits of the public 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 stepping up and supporting them,” says Vaughan leaflet.
“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 larger cultural shift in the region.”
He also looks forward to the community vibes that come with a neighborhood bar. “We’ve been building here for about six weeks now, and I see the same people walking by with their Cibo coffees and saying hello,” says Vaughan. “It was really nice.”
The team sees Pastel as a “refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city”. And they’ve enlisted Brown and Sabrina Sterk of design studio 2049 to conceive a warm and inviting interior – one with lustrous nutmeg and tobacco wood paneling on the walls, as well as ceramic tiles and marble countertops, brought to life by Sam Weckert of TigerBuild. There will also be custom sconces, artwork by Brown and Sterk, and a lush courtyard where DJs will be spinning.
As for the food, Vaughans promises “big flavors.” The team has brought in a former Peel Street chef and a former Gin Long Canteen chef (both yet to be named) to put together a dynamic menu spanning Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Imagine fresh pita whisked through whipped ricotta with za’atar and honey; kingfish sashimi with nam jim; pork and shrimp dumplings; octopus and skordalia; and Lebanese-style chicken skewers with fattoush, toum, cucumber and pita.
The food is supported by a wine list dedicated to both new-school and more conventional vintages (there will be familiar names with unknown grapes or familiar strains from unknown producers, says Vaughan), as well as cocktails featuring seasonal ingredients, including a Negroni made with fresh Peach (ideal before dinner) and another bitter twist with Willow Bend coffee-infused Campari and aged rum (for after dinner). In addition a Dirty Martini, Cosmopolitan with tangerine in three ways and a house spritz, served with a Sicilian olive.
Pastel Wine Bar opens in November at 47 O’Connell Street, North Adelaide.