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2014 Eat Drink Design Awards: Best Bar Design winner

Best Bar Design
Clever Little Tailor by Xtra Shiny

Jury comment:

Everything about Clever Little Tailor, an Adelaide laneway bar in a repurposed early-twentieth-century loading dock, is carefully considered and admirably consistent. From the handpainted gold lettering on the front door through to the meticulously crafted leather booths, painstakingly exposed bluestone and brickwork and the marble, parquetry and polished aluminium detailing, there is a seamless branding which gives the bar a strong sense of authenticity, as if it has been in the business of shaking cocktails for decades rather than months. It’s a warm, inviting design, interestingly textured from the almost exclusive use of non-synthetic materials and the clever, flattering lighting that works equally well day and night. Better still, the design is timeless and doesn’t read as age or demographic specific. Like the great bars of Europe, the split-level space can accommodate people of all ages in a mixture of partitioned and open seating zones with ease and elegance. It’s a design that invites you in and makes you want to stay – surely the perfect combination for any hospitality space.

Design statement:

A repurposed 1900s loading dock with a ninety-square-metre split-level space was aesthetically promising but technically challenging. Stripping back the building revealed beautiful stacked bluestone walls and charming brickwork – this assisted in design decisions but made technical drawings difficult. An almost exclusive use of non-synthetic materials is evident throughout – marble, aniline leather, polished aluminium, exposed timber beams and parquetry flooring are all nods to timeless classics re-imagined for a modern audience. Floor-to-ceiling partitions and zoned seating allow patrons to enjoy their own private areas. From street level, the careful choice of lighting creates an inviting warmth that’s hard to ignore.

Clever Little Tailor
19 Peel Street
Adelaide SA 5000

Products and materials

Walls and ceilings
Exposed stacked bluestone and rough brick walls plus painted wood panelling. AcoustiFort rigid insulation panels in black from B&V Ceilings.
Windows and doors
Windows custom made by Lex Whyte.
Polished concrete to lower level and 700 mm × 700 mm oak parquetry tiles to upper level.
In main area, 18-inch Vintage Streetlight Pendant from Restoration Hardware. In bathroom, Disk Adjustable light in black from Inlite and Topless Wire Guard Sconce from Barn Light Electric. On feature stone walls, Rand 211 T50 downlight in black from Delta Light. Custom bent galvanized tube with Edison bulb lamps, E27 pendant lampholder in porcelain and cloth-covered flex cable over bench seating, all from Edison Light Globes. Old Dixie Gooseneck light to exterior from Barnlight Electric.
Scaffold bar stools in black from Meizai. Custom upholstery by Luke Makris using Contemporary Leathers Verona leather in “Nutmeg.”
All custom made by Lex and Dana Whyte.
Work area
Custom-fabricated stainless steel surfaces by Ackland Stainless Steel.
Butler sinks and toilets from Restoration Online Australia. Oxford tapware sets from Recollections Adelaide. Custom polished stainless tube frame with components from All Things Stainless.


Design practice
Xtra Shiny
Adelaide, SA, Australia
Project Team
Adam Johnson, Dana Whyte, Josh Baker, Crispian Fielke
Builder Self built with client and various tradespeople
Carpentry Lex Whyte, Alex Chant
Concrete tabletops SA Techfloor
Lighting Thomas Maguire Electrical
Plumbing Russell Van Hout
Polished concrete flooring Arrunga Surface Solutions
Project manager Adam Johnson, Xtra Shiny
Stonework Arox Stone Products (George Sarris)
Site details
Location Adelaide,  SA,  Australia
Category Interiors
Type Bars and cafes, Hospitality, Restaurants
Project Details
Status Built
Design, documentation 2 months
Construction 2 months
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