Cry Baby

4:00pm - 2:00am
11 Solomon Street Adelaide 5000

Until 2016 Solomon Street was just another disused West End laneway brimming with potential. Then Sunny’s Pizza and Fairweather happened.

They occupy two of three spots in the Powerplant Building – a former car park. “Polished-up” dive bar Cry Baby is the last piece of the puzzle.

Chances are owner Jon Di Pinto has poured you a drink or two. He cut his teeth at Jock Zonfrillo’s now-closed Street ADL (which became Bistro Blackwood), Bank Street Social and Hains & Co.

Plant your feet on the black-penny-round-tiled entranceway. Look down. “Cry Baby” is stamped in contrasting white tiles. Two towering metal doors were purpose-built then left outside to rust.

By night a pink haze engulfs the bar, emanating from a very on-trend, custom-made neon sign that spells out “Cry Baby” (in Di Pinto’s dad’s handwriting). It’s reflected in the super shiny lacquered-concrete floor. Sprawling bottle-green booths topped with Tasmanian oak line the walls. A similarly green subway-tiled hallway leads to the toilets. It’s the first-ever bar design for StudioAKA’s Amy Grundy, not that you’d know.

A strip of pink LED lights wash over the black-and-white-tiled bar. In the so-called “party corner”, strike up a game of pool or throw a few bucks in the original ’72 jukebox. It’s chock-full of rock’n’roll-only records handpicked by Di Pinto. You might spy the Janis Joplin tune (a Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters cover) the bar’s named after. Despite a haul of 300-odd bottles of spirits, there’s no list. Di Pinto bought mostly single bottles, and went bonkers on the tequila and bourbon.

The one-page cocktail list is easy to navigate. House cocktail “London Calling” (gin, sherry and lemon juice) shares its name, fittingly, with the Clash’s late-’70s classic.

All-Australian craft beers pour from 12 taps; Young Henrys, Mismatch, Fox Hat and Clare Valley Brewing are a few mainstays. Local vintners Alpha Box & Dice and Down the Rabbit Hole head up the wine list.

Food is fuss-free. Choose from two charcuterie-and-cheese platters: big or small. Or snag an American-style hot dog from the cart.

Updated: December 11th, 2018

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