SA Life

Get CityMag in your inbox. Subscribe
April 4, 2019

Meet the team bringing the Adelaide UniBar back to campus

Having seemingly closed its doors for the final time in 2018, Kim Littler, Gareth Lewis, Aaron Sandow and Marc Huber are bringing the UniBar back to life.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  • Words and pictures: Jess Bassano

Like University life, the Adelaide UniBar has changed dramatically over the past decade. Notebooks have given way to laptops, and the dingy (in the best possible way) band room with alcohol-laden carpets has now been replaced with an airy indoor-outdoor multifunctional space.

As the team behind the new UniBar prepare for their official launch on Friday, 5 April, they’re hopeful the space will continue to foster the old-school relationships they remember fondly.


UniBar Adelaide
Ground floor, Union House, University of Adelaide
Monday-Friday: 7am ’til 7pm
Stay tuned to UniBar Adelaide’s social media for updates on upcoming gigs.

UniBar Adelaide’s launch event is happening from 5pm on Friday, 5 April.

Neon Tetra
Cosmo Thundercat
Paper Sunsets
Liam Halford (on the Uke)
and special guest DJs

Kim Littler, Gareth Lewis, Marc Huber and Aaron Sandow – the crew behind the Adelaide Beer and BBQ Festival and newly formed music and arts festival A Day on the Cans – have developed a reputation for celebrating local produce and artists, and UniBar will be no different.

“We’re just trying to bring in as many local suppliers as possible and bring in their products in front of kids who wouldn’t normally see a Little Bang beer or a decent coffee,” says Gareth.

“We’re open from 7am every morning for coffee, which is a new thing for the UniBar obviously, right through to pre-lunch, lunch and those sort of later in the afternoon drinks.”

Gareth says while the foursome is trying to focus on independent South Australian products, like the Dawn Patrol coffee now available on site (about 75 per cent of UniBar’s produce is local), the team is mindful of keeping prices reasonable.

“It’s a place for uni students to hang out essentially… we have rotating specials every month at least. So at least one $14 jug and a $5 pint,” says Gareth.

The venue, which has moved to the ground level of Union House, where Roberta’s Italian was set up during RCC Fringe, holds roughly 400 people inside and 500 people outside.

“Three of us – myself, Aaron and Kim – we all spent a lot of time at Adelaide Uni so we knew the uni bar pretty well,” says Gareth.

“It had been neglected over the last ten years, and it was an important part of the uni experience when we were there. We wanted to add something different that the uni hadn’t seen before, and that compliments what we do.”

L-R: Aaron Sandow, Kim Litler and Gareth Lewis


Gareth says a key part of the team’s revamp has been ensuring the space feels fresh and contemporary, but doesn’t lose all of its grungy charm.

“I didn’t know, but there was a big outcry when there wasn’t a pool table when we first opened,” chuckles Gareth.

“Because you know, that’s synonymous with the UniBar. So that came in pretty quick. And we’re working with the gardener at the moment to add a whole new green space in there.”

The UniBar’s official launch is set to kick off from 5pm on Friday, 5 April, and Kim hopes it will be a chance for uni students and the wider public alike to rediscover a space where they can connect.

“A lot of people don’t even turn up for lectures anymore, because they can do it online. So, they don’t have that collegiate interaction,” says Kim.

“What I’d like to generate from the UniBar is that interaction in a casual kind of environment. People can watch an informal conversation or a debate or something like that and hang around and have some beers or some food with people from a field that they don’t understand or wouldn’t normally get involved in.

“I think it would be really nice for people to experience different things and not feel like they’re walking in on something that they’re not a party to.

“University is diverse… it’s about inclusivity.”

Share —