Themys Chrissidis might call his latest venture “the little bar with big dreams”, but Eleven is no small bar. It’s not even close. The open-air venue, which is located in a courtyard surrounded by office buildings just off Waymouth Street, is licensed for 200 people.
“We’ve got beautiful places in Adelaide that can only have 12 people in them right now,” he adds. “Even with current Covid restrictions our capacity is 162, which gives you an idea of the volume.”
Chryssidis and co-owner (and ex-Masterchef contestant) Callum Hann, who also run Sprout Cooking School together, have made full use of that space to create a versatile venue that caters to the morning coffee crowd, as well as offering lunch, elevated bar snacks and pre-dinner or post-dinner drinks. Insulated from nearby traffic by the towering office blocks, it will ultimately serve as a companion to their fine-dining restaurant in the same precinct (also called Eleven) when it opens in March.
For now, the restaurant team is working out of the compact bar and kitchen, a grey and green structure slightly larger than a shipping container. Chef Dan Murphy and sommelier Geoffrey Hunt have both come from Appellation in the Barossa, coincidentally joining at about the same time Hann and Chryssidis opened Barossa eatery Lou’s Place at Lou Miranda Estate.
“We took a bit of that casual dining experience to the Barossa. Now we’re bringing the phenomenal premium dining experience to the CBD,” says Chryssidis of the forthcoming restaurant.
The bar’s drinks list skews local, with a few surprises from further afield such as a Greek rosé and Sullivans Cove brandy. And there are plenty of spritzes and sparklings to suit the outdoor location.
When Chryssidis promises “a bar menu that’s not just pretzels and chips”, he’s serious. Limited prep space means the menu is tight, but it currently includes a fluffy duck-liver parfait with marmalade and oat cracker, and a lobster roll (on a brioche bun) with crunchy iceberg lettuce, dill and crème fraîche that’s already become a crowd favourite.
There are also two heartier lunch options (including one that caters to dietary requirements) that will change weekly. “That lets us use the freshest ingredients,” Chryssidis says, “and realistically you're going to get more variety out of a menu that does two lunch options a week than the same menu all year round.”
In the mornings there’s coffee from Mitolo and Abbots & Kinney pastries. “We have a rule where we try to make everything ourselves unless someone can legitimately do it better than us,” says Hann. “And they can.”
11 Waymouth Street, Adelaide
Mon to Thu 7am–9pm