Latterias were small neighbourhood shops in post-war Italy where you could grab milk and other grocery staples – similar to the milk bars of Melbourne, or Adelaide’s corner delis – and maybe perch with a coffee and a pastry. Many of them evolved into small bars or tavola calda-style diners where locals would drop in for a drink and a bite to eat – locals like Nicola Pau, who grew up in Milan before moving to Australia 11 years ago.

“By the 2000s, when we used to go out, these places were still a very important part of the community,” he tells Broadsheet. “We used to go there for aperitivo, so after work you wouldn’t need to call your friends, you’d just go down to the local latteria and have a little drink and a couple of nibbles. Then you’re ready to go for actual dinner.”

Now Pau’s bringing the latteria concept, albeit updated, to Hutt Street. His Italian-style cocktail bar – Latteria – will be a jazzed-up version with slick cocktails and aperitivi in beautiful, Studio Gram-designed surrounds.

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“We thought, ‘What if latterias were still around today, and what would they look like if they found a new home in Adelaide?’” says Pau, who’s been an integral member of Osteria Oggi since it opened nine years ago. It’s where he met Luca Baioni, another Milan native and a former Campari brand ambassador, who he’s teamed up with to open the bar, alongside Oggi’s Simon Kardachi.

Baioni, who’s also worked at Melbourne’s prestigious cocktail bar Black Pearl, has crafted a drinks list featuring the “best Cosmo ever”, according to both him and Pau, and a cocktail called Breakfast in Milano inspired by the flavours of a northern Italian brekkie: a cappuccino and croissant. “There’s gonna be some fun stuff,” he hints.

The drinks will be paired with aperitivi, or snacks, by co-head chefs Max O’Callaghan (currently a working partner at Oggi) and Rhys Nicholson (ex-Press, Orso, Sol) like salatino (puff pastry) topped with a meatball, savoury cannoli, octopus skewers and pizzetta.

“We’re doing simple but really delicious bites that you want to have with your drink,” says Pau. “In Adelaide, having access to the best produce in Australia makes it easy … it feels like we’re in Italy here.”

The bar will open from 11.30am, so there’ll also be larger items for those stopping in for lunch, like a Milanese cotoletta.

Pau initially linked up with the Oggi crew through his friend Graham Charbonneau, one of the founders of Studio Gram. So naturally he’s tapped the award-winning architect firm to design the venue.

The corner site – a combined former bank and TAB – is being transformed into a bar and cocktail lounge split in two parts by a central double-faced pink marble bar. You can expect a “very Milanese” fit-out of concrete, amber glass windows, chrome and lots of timber, including red-stained oak tables made by Gabe Turner Furniture.

As a managing partner at Oggi, Pau has been working in the bustling centre of the CBD for almost a decade, so he’s relishing the leafy, village-like dining strip of Hutt Street.

“It’s so nice, it’s so green, it’s a little community of shops that we’re meeting – I feel so good about this side of town,” he says. “We see a lot of interstate tourists coming to Oggi, it would be nice to see that crowd on this side of Adelaide. It’s such a beautiful part of the city.”

Latteria is expected to open later this month at 185 Hutt Street, Adelaide.

@latteriabar
latteriabar.com.au