The Adelaide Cabaret Festival – and Cabaret Fringe Festival – are in full swing this month, spotlighting homegrown talent and stars from across the globe. To keep the fun times rolling when the curtain falls, we’ve put together a list of bars worthy of a visit from cabaret kings and queens.
Parisian glamour abounds in this little Grote Street bar’s plush booths, round tables and curious cocktails. It is also a cabaret and burlesque venue, so expect a well-dressed, flamboyant clientele.
Entering this multi-level bar, restaurant and clandestine champagne lounge is like stepping into 1940s Paris. The wine list is stellar, the cocktails classic and the ambience reminiscent of a time when women wore camisoles, men wore bowler hats and style was a way of life. Kick back and let the Pol Roger and Veuve Clicquot flow.
Maybe Mae isn’t the easiest bar to find, but the 1950s cocktail lounge is worth the hunt. Mae West inspired the bar’s name, and the interior reflects the siren’s seductive vibes. Grab a seat in one of the green leather booths and let the ghost of good times past whisper in your ear.
This upstairs haunt looks out over Ebenezer Place and takes inspiration from the Deep South and soul music. The faces of blues and soul icons watch over snug booths, and a DJ spins old-school soul, funk and blues. Downstairs is the moody aperitif bar, serving amaro, vermouth, Americanos, Negronis, Lillet and bottled cocktails. The cheese platters are a great late-night snack.
La Buvette Drinkery
It’s all about natural French wine, locally sourced charcuterie, oysters and the joy of aperitifs in this Parisian-style space. And it’s only a short walk from the Festival Centre.
Explore the world via your glass at this delightfully dark, book-packed bar. A European-style cocktail list and shelves full of Scotch, high-end Russian vodka and a mix of local and faraway beers and wines keep connoisseurs sated. The food is decadent, too. Generous share plates and open toasted sandwiches are on offer all night long.
The Propaganda Club
A 55-seater lounge, three hole-in-the-wall bars and a formal dining room make up this late-night supper club. Sitting in the heart of "midtown", beneath the hustle and bustle of Grenfell Street, this grand, subterranean hideaway is an ode to old-world New York. Best of all, food is served until the early hours of the morning.
This extravagant cabaret bar was decked out by designer Michael Delany, who has quite the flamboyant touch. A large crystal chandelier, hundreds of flowers, a disco ball, stripper pole and a DJ booth housed within a white grand piano add to the over-the-top atmosphere. Sip a Schlong Island Iced Tea and enjoy the line-up of guest cabaret acts.
The Henry Austin
After a temporary stint as "Henrietta's" during the festival season, The Henry Austin's cheeky alter-ego has become a permanent fixture. Local cabaret queen Anya Anastasia has co-curated a series of cabaret and music performances in the basement bar. Select a bottle from the cellar or top up your glass of Bollinger and settle in for the night.
Be quick or you’ll miss this one. It’s only open during Adelaide Cabaret Festival and can be found in the Festival Centre’s Space Theatre. It’s a mix of drinks, dancing and late night shows hosted by a revolving door of performers including the quick-witted Reuben Kaye and artistic director Ali McGregor.
This article was updated on June 14, 2017.