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May 1, 2024

Sando deli by day, wine bar by night: Rascals aims for best of both worlds

CityMag has covered and eaten our fair share of sandos, and it's safe to say the trend isn't over yet. The latest contender on Bent Street already packs a punch - but a laid-back wine bar is also on the menu.

  • Words & main picture: Jade Woollacott
  • Pictured from L–R: Josh Kleeman, PK Ketkaew, Baylie Day
  • Pictures: Helen Karakulak

PK Ketkaew is the executive chef at Society Bar and recalls Society’s co-owner Josh Kleeman constantly asking him to make sandwiches.


Rascals Deli and Wine Bar
17-19 Bent Street, Adelaide 5000
Monday to Saturday 7am ’til 3pm


“Why don’t you just open a sandwich shop, man,” PK suggested one day.

Josh went for a walk, spied a vacant location on Bent Street – which connects Grenfell and Rundle streets– and reported back to PK: “I think I found a location.”

“Just fucking do it,” PK said.

PK says that’s the origin of Rascals Wine Bar and Deli, where he now heads up the kitchen.

Josh has joined forces with mates Baylie Day and Annie Medlen to open Rascals, which is now open for business – halfway at least.

Pending final approvals for a liquor license, for the time being Rascals is a hole-in-the-wall with the team slinging sandos, coffee and good conversation.

Rascals is a hole-in-the-wall sando spot, but a wine bar is also expected to be operating soon.

When the interior fit-out and liquor licensing is finalised, Rascals will transform into a laid-back wine bar.

Although half of the Rascals crew is also the team behind Society Bar, Rascals will have a completely different look and feel. PK says where Society is more of a restaurant with a focus on cocktails and high-end food, Rascals will be more casual with smaller grazing style foods, while of course still high quality.

PK describes the food as “simple, not too complicated and everyone can come and enjoy it”.

Currently, Rascals has a selection of five sandos featuring a tuna melt; a toasted, roasted portobello mushroom, grilled eggplant, fresh mortadella and PK’s favourite: a chicken salad sandwich.

There’s always ‘shroom for a good sando

Rascals will also offer locally made pastries to complement the grab-and-go, hole-in-the-wall business model.

“On the kitchen side [we’re] using all Adelaide top suppliers,” PK says, with The Lost Loaf sourdough and Aldo’s Meat featuring on their sando menu.

PK is yet to finalise the menu that will accompany the wine bar but plans on continuing to source high-quality and local and says we can expect things like charcoal and hibachi grilled meats and other finger-friendly elevated classics.

Baylie says the vision for Rascals is an “old school Italian Bottega but with a new age look”.

While sandos will be a major drawcard the team also plans on fully embracing their ‘deli’ namesake. PK says eventually they will sell products and produce that support local and fit the deli aesthetic. Think cured meats, preserves and other locally sourced goodies.

Co-owner Baylie says the focus is on supporting local small businesses and selling high-quality, organic products and to showcase that love of local in their wine list, alongside some international offerings.

Josh and Baylie say while they want to feature and celebrate both local and international wines they don’t want the ‘wine bar’ to come off as pretentious.

“We just want it to be, I think the best way to put it, a welcoming environment for everyone even if they’re not aware or have a sound understanding of what wine they drink, that’s fine. Come and enjoy it. If you have questions, ask away,” Baylie says.

“The best way to explain the menu, in regard to drinks, is it’s forever changing.

“Always chopping and changing, we want to keep things fresh and fun.”

This “forever changing” approach will be reflected in PK’s food menu.

Josh says patrons will notice some of the same brands but they want to build up a list that far exceeds the wines offered at Society Bar.

“We want to help keep supporting local as well, but we’re not going to limit it to just being local,” he says.

The team agree the process is a bit of trial and error, but a fun one at that.

They are yet to set a date for their official opening, but say it should only be a few weeks away – so watch this space.

For now, you can catch the Rascals crew slinging sandos at 17-19 Bent Street, Adelaide, from Monday to Saturday, 7am to 3pm.

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