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February 15, 2024

Cry Baby meets Sunny’s Pizza in a bar opening today

The Cry Baby and Sunny’s Pizza crew have teamed up to create Nightshade, an 80s-style bar with lots of synth-pop and blue drinks "with shitty maraschino cherries" in the previous 1000 Island space.

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  • Words: Claudia Dichiera
  • Pictures: Matisse Chambers
  • First picture L—R: Ash Wilson and Jon Di Pinto

Hospo veterans Jon Di Pinto and Ash Wilson were somewhat inspired by the Lana Del Rey lyrics “That stood for deadly nightshade” in ‘Ultraviolence’ as a name for their new bar Nightshade, which opens this Friday.


15 Solomon Street, Adelaide 5000
Everyday: 6pm ’til 2am

Opening today


The duo, who are “essentially brothers-in-law”, always thought they would open a venue together. Jon co-owns Cry Baby, Shotgun Willie’s, Memphis Slims House of Blue’s, El Camino and Sugar, and Ash co-owns Sunny’s Pizza

Located in the old 1000 Island spot between Cry Baby and Sunny’s Pizza, Jon says Nightshade is “the perfect storm of things going on” both conceptually and physically. 

“So our partners are sisters, and this is an idea they cooked up however many years ago. They thought of this name, this 80s bar called Nightshade. How long ago was it when they came to us with this proposal for this bar?” Jon asks Ash. 

“When we first both sort of started dating really,” Ash replies. 

Ash, as a partner of what was 1000 Island, sold the space to Jon, and they decided Naz and Kat Romeo’s sisterly dream would finally come to life. 

“It wasn’t even a choice,” Jon laughs. 

“It was predetermined that it would have to be this,” Ash elaborates. 

The Nightshade vibe


Music plays an integral role in any Di Pinto venue, so expect 80s hits from Madonna. Ash says there will be “lots of synth-pop and a bit of tacky 80s later if there’s a dance floor”. 

“One of our top listing songs [is] West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys,” Ash says. 

“It’s like the unofficial theme song of the bar,” Jon continues. 

“I think more synth-driven stuff,” Ash says. “But then it will sort of ebb and flow through the night. I think there’ll be some more obvious classic hits, but then also don’t want to run into a trap where, you know, people are coming in at nine o’clock and just wanting to hear the hits because that’s hard to sustain.”

The drinks list will include 80s options like martinis and “lots of blue things with the shitty maraschino cherries” Jon says.


He adds that the interiors, designed by Naz of Zola Haus, include “lots of chrome [and] lots of mirrors” and vintage posters of Prince’s Purple Rain album shoot and old-school cars beside black cheetah statues. 

“Also it just tied in well with it being a transformation from 1000 Island where everything was really colourful and lots of stuff going on, to kind of dial the aesthetic down to be, I guess, pretty minimal,” Ash says. 

“But sort of tying it all in together and just having a couple of aesthetics, couple of colours. It’s pretty much just blue, purple, pink, and obviously some textured fur stuff.”

A door will also connect Cry Baby and Nightshade to allow both venues to play with the same crowd. 

Jon says Nightshade will be a “little oasis away from the chaos”.

“So you can come here, the music won’t be as hectic. It will be a bit more chilled and vibey. And then maybe the last couple hours in the night, we’ll let loose and play the hits and have the party going on in here as well,” he says. 

“I mean, look, you never know with these things. When I opened up [Cry Baby], I thought it’d be like maybe 50, 60 people on a Saturday night playing some pool, drinking a beer. And it’s just turned into an absolute chaos party 24/7.

“The 80s thing works well because we’ve got the 70s next door, like a big rock and roll bar and this just ties in nicely to Sunny’s, so it’s sort of like the perfect middle ground for both bars.”


With Cry Baby having a much larger capacity than Nightshade, Jon says people will be able to walk in and out between the two bars to an extent. 

“You’ll be able to come between [the two] during the week. Then I think on a Friday, Saturday, it’s going to do that up until a certain point,” Jon elaborates. 

“Once Cry Baby gets full, obviously, for security reasons, the door will need to remain shut and then you’ll just be where you are.”

The customer experience is why the duo believe their venues have been able to thrive despite the current dire state of nightlife in the West End

“I don’t think the nightlife itself is dying. I just think people are looking for something different… the good ones luckily get to hang around and keep doing it.” Jon says. 

“I mean with all the venues that we both have done, there’s always a little vibe behind it. There’s not really a theme, but it’s just a style. 

“The main point is the experience, and then everything else comes after. You know, we’re not trying to break records for the best cocktails or the best wine lists or anything like that. 

“The people when they come in, let’s make sure they have fun and then the drinks and the offering come second to that. So I think that’s important as well.”

Nightshade is located at 15 Solomon Street and will open on Friday.

Connect with the business on Instagram for more.

Ash, Bacci and Jon

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