“I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing before I just went and opened up a bar,” he says. Inspiration came from “pretty much any bar I’ve worked at or been into,” he adds. Plus those he hasn’t. “I thought ‘What does Adelaide not have?’ We’ve got awesome pubs and awesome small bars. Where’s that in-between area?” Cry Baby splits the difference.
Stroll through the black-penny-round-tiled entranceway and see “Cry Baby” stamped in contrasting white tiles. Two towering metal doors were purpose-built “then left outside ... to rust the shit out of them,” says Di Pinto.
By night a pink haze engulfs the bar, emanating from a custom-made neon sign that spells out “Cry Baby” (in Di Pinto’s dad’s handwriting). It’s reflected in the super shiny lacquered-concrete floor. Sprawling bottle-green booths topped with Tasmanian oak line the walls. A similarly green subway-tiled hallway leads to the toilets. It’s the first-ever bar design for StudioAKA’s Amy Grundy, not that you’d know.
A strip of pink LED lights wash over the black-and-white-tiled bar. In what Di Pinto calls the “party corner”, strike up a game of pool or throw a few bucks in the original ’72 jukebox. It’s chock-full of rock’n’roll-only records handpicked by Di Pinto. We spy the Janis Joplin tune (a Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters cover) the bar’s named after.
Despite a haul of 300-odd bottles of spirits, there’s no list. “I’ve bought single bottles of everything,” Di Pinto says. “If it goes, we’ll replace it with something else, or maybe the same thing if it works ... We’ve gone absolutely bonkers on tequila and bourbon.”
11 Solomon Street, Adelaide
Mon to Thu 5pm–2am
Sat & Sun 5pm–2am