The buzz around Rundle Street’s newest addition BRKLYN has been steadily gaining momentum, and with the launch date (8th April) almost upon us it’s reaching peak excitement. As the name suggests, the bar is themed around a street in Brooklyn, however goes one step further than many other themed bars by literally building a New York street inside the venue. Walking through the doorway and up a flight of stairs one feels as if they are stepping off the subway and onto a graffitied downtown street lined with a New York-style deli, a barbershop, a music studio and a bar.
Owner Rashaad Chenia and investor Alistair Loose both have heavy backgrounds in the hospitality industry, and when the old Soundpond site went up for sale they jumped at the chance to land a space on the reinvigorated East End. Man of the moment Matiya Marovich of Sans-Arc Studios (Gondola-Gondola, NOLA and Pink Moon Saloon) is responsible for the incredible fit out, however Rashaad and Alistair worked closely with the design team to ensure their vision of a Brooklyn Street would be everything they imagined.
‘We really loved the theme of Brooklyn, all the old buildings that have been modernised and the alternative culture of the area, and we thought it was something Rundle Street really needed. There’s quire a few bars opening up here again, so hopefully it’ll balance out the East and the West,’ said Rashaad.
When visiting the first shop on the right you’ll find eats inspired by American deli snacks; think pastrami sandwiches, reubens, lobster rolls, cheese, cold cuts and pickled goods.
‘We didn’t want it too authentic, but we’re taking inspiration from the Jewish deli’s of old. It’s going to be super tasty, fun food,’ said Alistair.
Julian Rydon (The Vendor) has been working closely with the BRKLYN team as a food consultant, helping Rashaad and Alistair craft a delicious bar-food menu that will be on offer each evening until the venue closes.
The next shop is something that has been kept under wraps until now, however we can excitedly tell you that a barbershop will be next on BRKLYN road. The barbershop will be open late in the evening for women and men to grab a quick trim and style, with clients able to pop off to grab a bite to eat or drink while they wait.
‘Usually people end up waiting for ages in a barbershop with nothing to do, so I thought why not put a barbershop inside a bar where there are drinks and food you can enjoy while you wait and get your hair cut,’ explained Rashaad.
The crew are still on the lookout for a barber to set up shop in this unique space, so if you’re a an experienced hair connoisseur looking for a chance of scenery send BRKLYN a message.
Third stop along the road is the reinvented Soundpond studio. For many years Soundpond was a musical institution where many successful DJs around Adelaide once got their footing. After closing mid 2015, the online radio station remained dormant until now. The new studio will be live 2pm-12am seven days and has been completely decked out with new Pioneer equipment, including the CDJ-2000NXS and hopefully the soon-to-be-released CDJ-2000NXS2. DJs have been chosen that represent a wide variety of genres, with the more alternative genres playing throughout the day and genres that represent more of an underground New York sound like Hip Hop and Chicago House playing at night.
‘We have the ability to switch whatever is playing in Soundpond to the main room, so DJs that are playing in there can be heard live in the bar,’ said Rashaad.
Three old Soundpond members David Musch, Taylor Elliot and Tom Reeve will be hanging around to monitor the happenings in the studio, and we couldn’t be happier to see these two still involved with the online station.
The feature shop in BRKLYN is definitely the bar. Taking up the whole left side of the venue, with beautiful views looking over Rundle Street, the bar will serve everything from craft beer (with Brooklyn Lager on tap of course, as well as Stone and Wood and Mismatch), to local wine and an American-inspired cocktail list crafted by Alistair. Premium spirits will aim to be sold at competitive prices, with house pours including Kettle Vodka, Tanqueray Gin, Bulleit Bourbon and Johnnie Walker. The bar can be accessed from both the ‘street’ and inside, allowing guests to choose where they sit. BRKLYN also offers an outdoor balcony for smokers, and they are currently in the process of applying to licence the area to allow drinking too.
Together, these four venues make up what is going to be an awesome new hangout spot in the East End.
‘We’re hoping it’s going to be a point of difference in the scene. We don’t want it to be just Soundpond, or just a bar, or just a barbershop, we want it to all be combined as one,’ said Rashaad.
BRKLYN is set to launch on Friday the 8th of April and will be open from four until late Tuesday to Saturday. You can find this little slice of New York at 260a Rundle Street, just up a flight of stairs.
[Update: BRKLYN is now a speakeasy gin and cocktail bar and boasts a beautiful terrace overlooking Rundle Street]