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September 14, 2018
Habits

The Golden Wattle restaurant and bar will bloom on Pirie Street

A new hospitality group in Adelaide is taking over The Office on Pirie Street with all day food and drink and live music on the weekend.

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  • Words: Josh Fanning & Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Julian Cebo

The Golden Wattle is under construction right now. There’re teams of builders, plumbers and electricians on the site formerly known as The Office on Pirie Street and they’re busy moving, measuring, cutting, welding and fixing the space up ready to launch as a brand new restaurant and bar in three weeks.

Remarks

The Golden Wattle will open on October 1st unless they don’t.

110 Pirie Street
Adelaide, SA 5000

Mon-Fri: 7AM – Late
Sat: 11AM – Late

CityMag confirms the group intend to open in the first week of October. The group of men standing in front of us – the owners, all friends – have either left steady paying jobs or are currently on secondment to the site while the build stage takes shape. The deadline elicits raised eyebrows from the team and a cautious but uniform nod from the group.

“Well, we start paying rent from October 1st,” says Damien Kelly, “so we’ll be opening up as soon as possible after that.”

The Golden Wattle restaurant and bar will be brought to you by a new group of hospitality veterans.

The entrance to The Golden Wattle will be on the corner of Wyatt and Pirie Streets

Damien Kelly is the owner of The Hotel Metro on Grote Street and he, along with Tom Byrnes (The Metro), Josh Philips (Magill Estate), Pete Curtis (The Port Admiral) Ben Quici (Midnight Spaghetti) and Dave Blumberg (Exeter) are putting everything they’ve got into The Golden Wattle.

“I just got off a 36-hour flight from Siciliy this morning,” says Dave Blumberg. Off the plane and straight to the building site – Dave is keen.

Dave’s energy and enthusiasm is matched by everyone in this new hospitality group. We’ll stop short of calling them bright-eyed and bushy-tailed but the team is visibly keen to get on with transforming The Office – iconic venue of the late ’90s – into The Golden Wattle – relevant eatery in the late ’00s.

“Because we’ve got restaurant backgrounds as chefs,” says Pete Curtis, “we’ll be bringing that quality and attention to detail across the whole menu.”

“There’s a fritz and sauce sandwich,” says Dave.

“Yeah,” Pete confirms and then clarifies, “but the Fritz is being made by a butcher for us specifically.”

There’s a bit of a wink in what the group are doing but the overarching theme for the Golden Wattle is to be inclusive says Damien.

“The bank got stroppy with me the other day,” he tells us. “I was filling out some forms and they wanted to know which demographic we were targeting and I just told them – ‘everyone’ – if someone wants to come in, a group of people, and they want to take over the space and make it theirs then that’s alright by us. We just want and need to make sure that everyone feels welcome here and that we have a role in creating a welcoming atmosphere,” says Damien.

While The Golden Wattle’s first draft menu features pub classics that will go down well with the area’s office workers, there are some inventive features like Bone marrow and celery heart for starters and barbecued bananas with ice cream and popcorn for dessert. The large, open plan kitchen will be a huge feature of the new venue and, in the same vein of recent pub revivals like the Port Admiral, it will centre around a large wood-fired grill.

“We had quotes to custom build a big metal BBQ grill that ranged from $1,600 – $3,600,” says Damien. “Thank god for Gumtree alerts because we ended up getting that [points to the large format metal BBQ in the middle of the construction site] for $500.

“It had never been used, it was made by inmates at Yatala prison and I drove out to Campbelltown to meet the person selling it and I paid cash and we didn’t talk. It was beautiful.”

Breakfast, lunch and dinner five days a week, with a later start on Saturdays. Live music has already been booked for October 6th – so you can be sure The Golden Wattle will be up and warbling by then.

 

Sign up to CityMag to stay in touch with the project but we’re confident The Golden Wattle is going to be a lot of fun.

 

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