Rashaad Chenia took the idea of a Brooklyn-themed bar and ran with it all the way to Rundle Street. Not only does BRKLYN take its name from the New York borough, it takes an entire street, incorporating three functioning shopfronts inside the first-floor venue.
“I spent a lot of time researching Brooklyn, and I really like the way a once-dangerous area has been completely gentrified and captured new, younger and artistic demographics,” Chenia says.
At Sunshine Delicatessen, chef Jordan Christopher serves a range of bar snacks, such as pickled mushrooms; eggplant and feta croquettes; and lobster rolls. There’s also a range of cheeses and cold cuts, such as wild boar and pastrami.
That pastrami can also be found in the pastrami on rye, with Swiss cheese and house-made pickles, the sour-salty combo, which will have even the most patriotic beer drinker reaching for a Brooklyn Lager (one of five tap beers).
The cocktail menu is by Alistair Loose (ex-2KW), who mixes classics with a twist, such as the Cold Drip Negroni and Watermelon Collins.
Vincenzo’s Barbershop is open late six nights a week, but there should probably be a three-drink limit before any major hair decisions. Chenia appreciated that the ever increasing small-bar market in Adelaide was making it hard to stand out. BRKLYN obviously won’t struggle with that.
At the end of the “road” (five metres from where we started) is the revamped Soundpond Studios, which has been on Rundle Street since 2009. It streams live performances for 10 hours on weekdays and 12 hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
“BRKLYN came into existence after I noticed the old Soundpond business was for sale,” Chenia says. “Being a music producer myself, I jumped at the opportunity to become involved in reinvigorating what had become a tired offering.”
Walking into the actual bar off the BRKLYN “street”, there’s a feeling of entering a distinct space. Away from the neon signs, it’s all mood lighting, booths, bricks and leather. This sharp design is courtesy of the busy Matiya Marovich at Sans-Arc Studio (Pink Moon Saloon, NOLA, Gondola Gondola and Whistle & Flute).
For all this, a trip to the bathroom might provide the most authentic New York experience. On the way you’ll overlook a graffitied laneway full of service bins, air conditioner backs and the odd vomiting drunk.
Keep walking past the bathrooms and there’s an entrance to a Thai massage parlour. It’s open until 10pm if you somehow manage to get bored of BRKLYN’s various delights.
260a, Rundle Street, Adelaide
Tue to Sat 4pm–2am