One of Sydney’s original (and still rollicking) small bars, Shady Pines Saloon, will take over Adelaide’s “polished-up” dive bar Cry Baby this week. It’s a rare chance for Adelaideans to experience the almost 10-year-old drinking den – known for its fun cocktails, endless bowls of peanuts, and deer and buffalo heads on the walls – without leaving the city.
Cry Baby venue manager Sean Howard is calling it a “harmonious crossover”. “Shady Pines will bring their drinks, and we’ll collaboratively deck it out like their bar, but it’ll still be Cry Baby,” he says. “We will still have the pink-lit neon and our pool table, but there will be a bluegrass-folk musician [Jimmy Bay] playing, all the lights will be turned to sepia, and there will be candles all over the room, among other surprises.”
The collaboration came about over a conversation at the bar, naturally, and a mutual appreciation between venues. “I did a six-month stint in Sydney and was a big fan of the bar when I lived there,” says Howard. “Jon [Di Pinto, Cry Baby’s owner] is also a huge fan.”
Shady Pines general manager Jay Cozma tells Broadsheet it was a “no-brainer” bringing the bar to Cry Baby. “Adelaide has been making a lot of headway on the Australian bar and restaurant scene over the last few years and Cry Baby has definitely been putting its mark on the map for hospitality focused venues,” he says.
The takeover will see Cozma and a crew of Shady Pines bartenders serving up some of their signature drinks, focusing on spirits such as Buffalo Trace, Southern Comfort, Corazon tequila, Fireball and Tito’s Handmade vodka. Expect cocktails, punch and a fresh-pressed juice, as well as two Shady Pines brewed beers.
“We have some pretty interesting drinks from our new menu at the Pines,” says Cozma. “We’re making a zero-waste sustainability focused coffee and avocado number using Tito’s Vodka, and a Southern Comfort Fish House Punch focusing on peaches and vibrant citrus flavours, and a few more we will leave as a surprise for the night.”
There’s been a huge rise in the hospo “takeover” in Adelaide and across the country. For Cozma, it’s a win for customers and operators alike. “For bartenders, it opens the doors to an exchange of drink concepts, service styles and all-round tomfoolery,” he says. “For the punters, it opens the door to venue styles that may not exist in that area, styles of drinks they may not have come across and an exciting dynamic of seeing what can happen when two different venues collide, be that creativity or chaos.”
Shady Pines Saloon takes over Cry Baby on Thursday September 5.