“We were basically all just friends but we would drink at each other’s places of work, we’d all go to the football together,” says Dave Blumburg of his business partners and co-owners of Pirie Street’s newest resident, The Golden Wattle. “For a lot of us this was the dream, to have our own place.”
That place is the debut venue from an assembly of hospitality veterans. Dave himself hails from the Exeter while the rest of the team comprises of The Hotel Metropolitan’s Damien Kelly and Tom Byrnes, Magill Estate’s Josh Philips, Pete Curtis of the refurbished Port Admiral Hotel, and Ben Quici from Midnight Spaghetti.
“Everybody was working for other people, so when the opportunity came up, everyone jumped on board,” Dave explains.
From its convergent nature grows The Golden Wattle’s proclivity for inclusivity. Likened to a country pub in its ability to draw crowds from across the board, it’s this ethos that saw customers “come in droves” in the first week of trade.
The same philosophy informed the venue’s name. “We didn’t want some macho name that makes people think it’s just for office workers, or it’s just for punks,” explains Dave.
“No one’s going to be put off by The Golden Wattle.”
As for the location, the pub occupies 550 square-metres of real-estate in the CBD’s east, formerly known as The Office on Pirie. A fresh lick of paint sees a departure from what Dave calls “a lot of bad gold” in favour of warm toned wooden panelling and a dusty green ceiling.
“It started to feel good as soon as the paint started rolling up there,” he explains.
“It had a lot of potential, which we’ve now realised [but] was a bit hard to see when we first came in,” he continues. “It’d literally just been left, there were still old schnitzels hanging around on tables.”
The revitalised venue is a far cry from its predecessor’s dated fit-out. Natural light now pours through floor-to-ceiling windows onto an expansive space grounded by the mammoth bar at its centre. The western wall is lined with bright yellow booths, flanked by a wall of Australiana imagery. Upstairs, the mezzanine features more seating, an ancillary bar, and a DJ booth for the after-work crowd.
On the food front, The Golden Wattle’s lunch and dinner offerings present an elevated interpretation of the classic pub menu. At its core, the menu strives to satisfy the masses, catering to all kinds of tastes.
“You have your simple pub options and obviously they’re treated with the upmost respect, they’re all sensational plates,” says Dave.
Equally considered, the breakfast offering shuns the stock-standard bacon and eggs in favour of a concise menu of innovative fare. In a unique twist on the classic eggs benedict, the Spam and Eggs Benny sees house-made spam and eggs laden with a delicate hollandaise sauce.
Diverging from the British and American influences that dominate Australia’s breakfast scene, the Rice Noodles are a stand out. Here, a perfectly poached egg sits atop a bed of Asian greens and shallots, swimming in chicken broth and chilli oil.
On the taps, local brews take the lead with “a bunch of Mismatch and a bunch of Coopers,” Dave says. Mismatch’s Wattleseed Lager, a collaboration with the market’s Something Wild, could be mistaken for the house beer. Instead, a partnership brew is in the works with a Golden Wattle branded lager soon to come.
Behind the bar, the Fridge of Classic Cans draws inspiration on Dave’s touring roots, stocked with tinnies from across the country.
“I’m a musician and touring around you always end up drinking the local beer,” he explains.
“You realise that we love drinking West End here but as soon as you leave South Australia you can’t get it anywhere, the same goes for Emu Export and Cascade Lager.”
As for wine, Dave says, “it’s basically a list with accessible options and then some more interesting stuff”.
For the early risers, The Golden Wattle is grinding beans from Five Senses, available in espresso and filter varieties. As Dave explains, “we’d be crazy not to try to do some good coffee on this street”. And he’s right, the pub is in enviable company with Abbots and Kinney, Chicken and Pig and Osteria Oggi rounding out the street’s hospitality offering.
“The neighbours are cool, I like to think we’ve come in here and we’re complimenting that.”
WHERE? 110 Pirie Street, Adelaide
WHEN? Monday – Thursday: 07.00 – 00.00 / Friday: 07.00 – 03.00 / Saturday: 12.00 – 03.00
COME HERE FOR: Everything from a hearty breakfast to Friday afternoon knock offs.
EXPECT TO SPEND: $$
OF NOTE: Restaurant fare at a pub price-point.
Photography by Ben Neale