Regular beach towels are soon to be upstaged by a new 350-person venue setting up on the sand at Glenelg Beach. Moseley Beach Club – an offshoot of the nearby Moseley Bar and Kitchen – will take up 750 square metres of beach just north of Glenelg Pier and have its own bar and kitchen. Entertainment will include live acoustic music during the week and DJs on weekends.
“A lot of the inspiration has come from the Mediterranean beach bars, that are really welcoming for families but I guess more importantly, you can sit back on day beds and have drinks and food served to you,” operations manager Luke Donaldson tells Broadsheet.
“Various staff members have travelled all over the world. They’ve all forwarded what worked really well in Europe and South-East Asia – some of those places that do beach bars really well,” he says.
The bar will carry over some its older sibling’s signature cocktails including drinks served in whole pineapples and coconuts. The kitchen, led by MBK head chef Sam Cromwell, will send out easy seaside snacks such as tuna poke and toasted sandwiches.
Putting the bar together has been a five-year process that’s involved working with local council, liquor licensing and local residents. Donaldson understands locals could be sceptical about public land being used for private gain, but has a pragmatic take on the issue.
“Businesses have to be innovative to bring more tourists to the precinct,” he says. “There is an enormous amount of beachfront and I guess we’re taking up a really small part of that.
“Families that want to go to the beach and take their normal picnic can still do so but there’s another offering now. People can go there and have a relaxing, almost luxurious experience where they can sit back and almost be waited on.”
Single sun lounges will come with a $50 minimum spend. Double day-beds can be booked for a maximum four people with a $100 minimum spend. Towels will be provided free or can be purchased for $20. Other areas of the bar will be set out with beanbags and be free from minimum spends, though a $5 entry fee will be charged after 5pm.
Donaldson’s not sure whether a precedent has been set that would allow more venues to open on South Australian beaches, but he’s keen on the idea.
“I love the beach,” he says. “Our motto at the Moseley is ‘Life’s better at the beach. We’ve got so much of it and if you look at Europe where they’ll tuck a beach bar in a cave that’s surrounded by rock pools and rocks, I think it is a bit of an underutilised space on, I suppose, every coastline around Australia.”
The Moseley Beach Club opens in mid-January.