The new restaurant and bar will be owned and operated by brothers Tom Roden and James Roden, who are renowned for their coffee and excellent service at Vardon Avenue café Exchange Specialty Coffee.
They will be joined by chef Andrew Douglas, who is currently doing a stint at Eau de Vie bar in Melbourne, but draws his contemporary Spanish food inspiration for the new project from his time working with Frank Camorra at Movida.
The venue will take up the site of Bimbo gift shop, which owner Carol Bayer has been operating in Rundle Street for 38 years. Bayer is moving Bimbo to a smaller space among other retail stores in Ebenezer Place to enable a complete redevelopment of the site.
The restaurant and bar, which is yet to be named, will run over two levels, with a downstairs bar and an upstairs kitchen and dining space. After initial structural upgrades are made to the building by the Maras Group, which owns the property, interior design and architect firm Williams Burton Leopardi (Base 64, David Roche Foundation House Museum) will complete the fit-out.
Building works, estimated to cost around $750,000, are set to begin this month, with the Roden brothers and Douglas taking possession of the property in mid-June and planning to open in October.
“I had been looking for the right space to start something new for quite a while,” says Tom.
“It was during a chance chat with Steve (Maras) at the opening of Nola in December last year that the Bimbo property was proposed. And it was actually Steve who floated the Spanish idea, having recently visited Barcelona.”
In the past two years, five new bars have opened in the East End precinct: Mr Goodbar, Brklyn, the Tasting Room, Mother Vine and Nola. But Tom Roden doesn’t want his new business to be known as a bar.
“I would hesitate to describe it as a bar,” he says. “It will be a restaurant-bar, with a heavier influence of food.”
Douglas, who has also spent time working with Dan Hunter at the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld, Victoria, has plans to develop his own kitchen garden to supply the restaurant.
“I want to create a selection of Spanish and Portuguese-style tapas and a list of substantial sharing plates using local products and ingredients we grow and make ourselves,” he says.
“I’m looking at community gardens out in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens and the South Parklands, and we are also in the process of negotiating another property where we can grow fresh produce in the Adelaide Hills.”
Douglas also plans to make his own charcuterie.
“It won’t be fine dining – it will be fresh, fun and relaxed.”
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