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Fresh food focus for Adelaide Festival Centre

Eat | Drink | Explore

The launch tonight of a pop-up bar overlooking the Riverbank is just the start of the Adelaide Festival Centre’s wining and dining revamp, with a new café and a permanent restaurant/bar both due to open at the end of the year.

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The AFC announced today it has joined forces with the Stadium Management Authority to create what it describes as “a destination café” and a bar along the Festival Centre’s new northern promenade as part of the precinct’s redevelopment.

First off the ranks is the bar: a brightly lit pop-up called Neon which opens tonight on the site of the former bistro at the junction of the River Torrens footbridge and the Dunstan Playhouse.

The kitchen at Neon is led by chef Nick Filsell, formerly of Jamie’s Italian, Red Ochre and Lost in a Forest at Uraidla, and promises “an ever-evolving range of delicious street food ‘by hand or stick’”.

Serving an array of cocktails, it will be open till late each day and will feature live acoustic music and DJs, as well as Sunday sessions where popular Adelaide food trucks will take over the kitchen.

Due to open on December 28 is the Koffee Ink Café, which will be in the kiosk space at the eastern end of the new promenade. Like Neon, it will be operated by the SMA, providing a similar offering to its existing Koffee Ink Café on Telstra Plaza.

The Festival Centre says Neon and Koffee Ink will complement the new Star Kitchen and Bar, also launching on December 28, which will be managed in-house by the Festival Centre and offer all-day dining alongside drinks ranging from “coffee to cocktails”.

It will be in the space formerly known as the Lyrics at the Festival Theatre, which has been closed as part of the redevelopment project but also re-opens just before new year with The Rocky Horror Show.

AFC CEO Douglas Gautier told InDaily the Star Kitchen would complement the new Walk of Fame, which features stars who have performed at the centre.

“An all-day, versatile option overlooking the river in the space formerly known as Lyrics, the Star will be themed with Walk of Fame portraits and memorabilia and it will feature a rolling menu of seasonal, fresh local produce,” he says.

The colourful Neon pop-up bar.

In a statement today, Adelaide Festival Centre chair Michael Abbott said the partnership with the Stadium Management Authority signaled what he hoped would be the start of a long collaboration.

“Redeveloping the foyers and entrance to Adelaide Festival Centre’s Festival Theatre gave us the opportunity to embrace the river.

“When we reopen in December we will face north and Adelaide Festival Centre will take its place as a gateway to the Riverbank. The new northern promenade is yet another reason to come down to the river and enjoy the precinct.”

An architect’s impression of the AFC’s revamped northern promenade.

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