· Wednesday October 19, 2016

It's late but the night's not done. You don't want to go clubbing but you don't want to go home. Some of you want to eat, some want to dance, some just want a nightcap and some good tunes. Somewhere with all this? Until now that’s been a pipedream. Enter Sunny’s - not a pizza bar, but a bar with pizza (and not pizza). With a slick design by Studio Gram, a very respectable sound-system and the creative input of some of Adelaide’s best hospitality mavericks, this place is about to change the way Adelaide does late nights. When I pop in for a preview there’s the delightful smells of pizza dough, cheese, and sawdust filing the surprisingly big space. “We must have used an entire plantation with all the wood going into this place”. Along with #tilesformiles, the prettiest shade of pink perspex and rough stone walls, the design is shaping up to be a celebration of the classic diner vs kitsch 50s Italian late night institution (anyone remember Don Giovanni’s?!).

Nestled in Solomon Street as part of the ‘PowerPlant’ complex (also home to Fairweather Coffee and the Endeavour College of Natural Health), Sunny’s is strategically located in the West End’s next ‘on-trend’ ‘activated’ ‘laneway’. Buzzwords aside, as I walk/ride/scoot these previously neglected or rushed-through streets I notice a lot more gyms, naturopaths, and lifestyle businesses instead of the garages, storage businesses or carparks of the old, un-’vibrant’ Adelaide CBD. There are more people moving into the city, and with residents comes the need for businesses to support them.

Led by chefs Josh Cook and Andy Nowell, I visit on a cold Monday night while they play around experimenting with their own take on pizza shapes. Since the oven had to be the first piece of equipment, installed months ago, they’ve been playing around with flavours, flour ratios, and other schemes on a daily basis. I get to try a Margherita, and then another with a different dough base - both delicious, both inspected for quality by the team. We decide the blackened one is more photogenic. Simmo (Simon Heinrich, formerly of Paddy's Lantern and Please Say Please) from next door's Fairweather pops in: “do you want a pizza Simmo? Pepperoni?” Turns out they've been giving pizzas to everyone on the street. Long-time resident of Solomon Street, KWP! were so delighted they gave them a standing ovation.

Josh worked at Est Pizzeria for two years and was getting tired of making pizza, so he took a break, but not before Andy came in one day wanting to learn the art. Andy has long felt there was a gap in the market in Adelaide’s bar and dining world - a place to eat good pizza (and not pizza) with good drinks, good music and good friends. He doesn't care if you don't even come for the pizza - Sunny's is a place for fun. With a classic cocktail list (Peach Bellini anyone?), a small but refined local wine list and craft beers on tap next to Italian imports, the emphasis is definitely on Party Times™. The menu will have 5 regulars including the classic margherita, the pepperoni, an eggplant parmigiana pizza with smoked scamorza, prawn pizza with black garlic butter and a Hawaiian that'll have the staunchest pineapple haters backflipping (sous-vide pineapple soaked in rum then blackened in the wood oven), with capocollo (or Gabagool), for good measure.

Plans for a back alley alfresco situation are afoot, but for now there is a small patio for enjoying the sunset that hits the small street frontage, skipping the nearby businesses like a sign from the heavens. Get ready to grab a pizza and a cocktail, fill a booth with your friends, and escape the main drag that is Hindley Street.