Nestled in what once was an empty 3.7m wide alleyway, it is safe to say Pink Moon Saloon is the biggest yet smallest addition to Adelaide’s niche bar scene. Being one of the most anticipated locations of the summer, Pink Moon Saloon swung open its chalet-esque doors to the public the Friday just passed. Crowds swarmed to get a glimpse at what all the fuss was about, and we at The Adelaidian couldn’t help but have a peek ourselves.
The venue, located in the centre of Adelaide’s ever growing iconic Leigh Street, is brought to you by the team behind everyone’s favourite Clever Little Taylor, among a handful of other establishments.
The boys behind the project (perhaps catching inception one too many times) picked the unusual location of a ‘laneway-within-a-laneway’ to match the vibrant and distinctive aesthetic that is Pink Moon Saloon.
Setting up camp in the tiny space, the vision of the venue was conceived by co-owners Josh Baker, Dana Whyte, Marshall, Crispian Fielke and Matthew Standen, who sought to encapsulate the childhood nostalgia and wonder of the great outdoors. Their place imbues the childhood memories of camping around a roaring fire, falling asleep under a sea of stars and slow cooking upon an open flame.
The architectural theme was conceptualised by designer and space-maker Matiya Marovich, the genius behind Sans-Arc Studio whose reputation precedes him, having worked previously with such venues as NOLA and Gondola Gondola.
The premise for the location, Matiya explains, was always to keep it simple, which one can gather is a precursor when working with a space the size of a shoebox – an aqua and fluoro pink Nike sneaker shoebox to be exact.
Matiya sort to replicate and distill the tranquility and notion of a lost cabin hidden away in the woods. It can be said, Pink Moon is a quiet place to quench the thirst of a lonely traveller or a place to escape, perhaps with a book in hand… Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, anyone?
No doubt as such, Pink Moon Saloon is an inner-city oasis where one can evade the city, alone or with friends. Whether it be between meetings, during lunch, for after work knock-offs or in the evenings if celebratory drinks are in order, Pink Moon is surely a destination of choice.
Although successfully conceptualising the aesthetic of venue, Matiya described actualising and transforming the space was more of an evolving process; a process that organically evolved, naturally at pace with the venues atmosphere, internal design, cocktail spread, and dining menu.
Speaking of drinks, as Australians, we’re not impartial to a selection of micro-beers, and we are more than willing to bend the arm in support of a quality craft as our aperitif of choice. At Pink Moon Saloon, they wouldn’t have it any other way!
Housing a rotating tap of five solid picks, in conjunction with some gem tinnies, the team at Pink Moon will leave no thirst unquenched as we bear the heat together in style, and keep the fluid levels up this summer.
For those who aren’t as prone to beer however, the house cocktail spread, spirits listing, and wine selection is a tightly curated rotating menu, yet still dynamic in nature. It will allow for seasonal inspirations that keep flavours stimulating and punters on their toes.
Yes, great, but what about the food? Well for the foodies, they’ll also be in for a treat. With the kitchen serving all day from 11.30am, lunch will be turning out slow cooked smoked and pickled goods, with both meats and vegetables available for the carnivores and herbivores amongst us.
The distinctly minuscule but functional kitchen built in consultation with Head Chef Mathew Standen consists purely of a wood oven. The menu, equally as simple in nature, is also just as spectacular, turning out lunch in-and-out over a period of approximately 40 minutes. So after our quick escape, we can immerse ourselves back into our inner-city lives without too much delay. Evidently, the team at Pink Moon are conscious of our hectic schedules and work place responsibilities!
Matiya has divided up the space into two log cabins separated by an outdoor void in the centre, comprising a small courtyard filled with greenery. The front is designated to house the bar area, referred to as the ‘drinkers cabin’ (no assumptions needed there), and the back incorporates the dining area and kitchen.
Matiya explains, in the design phase of the site, he was inspired by Japanese architectural references. He successfully evokes these inspirations through encompassing a feeling of generous space while working with such tight areas. This provides explanation for the unusual height of the venue given its width, which works to, once more, utilize the space provided in producing a sense of volume that offers an air of spaciousness once inside the venue.
His decision to divide up the space through opening up the centre (using the courtyard seating area) occurred organically. It allows for the utilization of a natural source of light to fill the venue and matches it’s effervescent setting, once more Japanese typology in essence.
The sourcing of materials and implementation of colour, once more an outcome of Matiya’s creative palette, was envisioned with the aim of replicating that of an authentic woodland hut, with traces of Pink Moon Saloon’s own unique atmospheric taste.
Traditionally while constructing a cabin, material is gathered from the land surrounding the area in which it is being built. So the team a Pink Moon, with this alpine hut ethos in mind, did just that!
Hence, Pink Moon is constructed solely of locally sourced sustainable material and a selection of Australian recycled hardwoods (seconds). These are characterised recycled due to black streaks running through its lighter shading, making it typically unsuitable for residential, yet perfect in matching the distinct vibrancy of Pink Moon Saloon.
The tones and colours, selected by Matiya for the venue interior, were all chosen out of his love of Nepali-Indian colour schemes.
The site was constructed from scratch by Eddie Bevan of Brojed Construction. Chosen for his craftsmanship, scrupulous attention to detail and passionate output, Eddie has worked with Matiya previously on a number of projects. It’s safe to say team at Pink Moon made a solid choice in selection of the crew, as they’ve absolutely nailed it (and cut it, and sanded it, and built it – did I mention the whole thing was constructed from scratch?)!
Alongside working with the team at Pink Moon’s clear-cut vision, Matiya worked in conjunction with graphic designer Carlo Jenson of Peculiar Familia, who headed the interior layout of the venue to match Matiya’s aesthetic design and the vision of co-owners, while steering away from 2-dimensional, stereotypical themes.
Open 11.30am (Saturday at 4pm) until late, the team at Pink Moon Saloon are cultivating community and surpassing expectations Monday’s through Saturday’s.
And as far as this venue goes, whether you’re wrangling up a little grub or saddling up for a refill of the thermal, you’ll be sure to see us at The Adelaidian moseying around the place, whether it’s before or after the pink moon has risen!