Published: June 28, 2018

As we approach the announcement of The City Awards 2018 winners, the spotlight is shining bright on 2017 winner of Best Pub/Bar, NOLA Adelaide

On the back of opening new pizzeria and bar Anchovy Bandit, it has also been announced that co-founders Oliver Brown and Joshua Talbot will be taking over the iconic former Stag Hotel in the East End. Brown and Talbot’s vision for the space is reflective of the entrepreneurial energy that is prevalent in the ever-evolving East End. Matiya Marovic, designer of 2016 City of Adelaide Prize winner, Pink Moon Saloon, will assist in bringing the potential of Stag Public House to full fruition.

This new East End offering comes at an ideal time as the MasterCard SpendingPulse report for February showed South Australia’s restaurant sales growth was leading the way nationally at 13.5 per cent. Major East End construction projects such as the Adelaidian Apartments, East End Apartments and Realm Adelaide are also playing a key role in the growth forecast of the State, contributing to the historically high results of the ANZ/Property Council (of Australia) Survey for the June quarter. The results revealed the highest levels of South Australian property sector confidence on record, alongside state economic growth expectations and management of the economy.

Read more: The team behind East End bar NOLA will re-open the historic Stag venue next month

THE former Stag Hotel will re-open next month following a major revamp led by the team behind popular East End beer and whisky haunt NOLA.

Oliver Brown and Joshua Talbot – two of NOLA’s four owners – are putting the finishing touches to a new fit-out, which will become home to a new restaurant, front bar and function space.

The renamed Stag Public House will deliver “Aussie pub classics with a twist” in the front bar, while “casual fine dining” restaurant Charlick’s will complete the transformation of the heritage building.

Mr Brown said talks with landlord Maras Group to take over the historic venue kicked off after previous operator The Fat Stag fell into administration in April.

“It’s been a problem site in the past few years and probably hasn’t taken off the way we thought it really could – it’s a really exciting challenge,” he said.

 “We thought the space as a whole was a bit big, cavernous and open and we wanted to break it down into three distinct areas.”

Mr Brown said fresh local produce would inspire the menu at Charlick’s – named after William Charlick who developed the East End’s Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange in 1904.

“It will be quite a refined high level but still quite accessible for the punter – honest and nostalgic food,” he said.

“Staff will bring in their family recipes and we’ll tweak them to what we do, and everything will be shared – it will be like a big family kitchen feel but with a refined touch to it.”

Matiya Marovic – who’s inspired the interiors of a string of bars across Adelaide including NOLA and Pink Moon Saloon – has designed the new fit-out, which will “completely change the look” of the venue.

“We wanted to add some character and bring that warm feel and honesty to the place, which was really a big open faceless venue,” Mr Brown said.

“We want people to know the people behind the bar and create an honest local Aussie pub.

“Food is going to play a really big part at Stag Public House. We’re bringing back the Aussie pub classics – we’ll do schnitzels and steak sangers but with our own twist.

“And it’s going to be super local – we’ll support local producers from farmers in Murray Bridge to local wines too.”

The new venue’s upstairs space will initially be made available for functions, but there are long-term plans to convert the area into a live music venue.

The NOLA team has partnered with the Maras Group before, both at NOLA and more recently opening pizzeria and bar Anchovy Bandit at the developer’s Palace Nova project at Prospect.

“We’ve developed a great rapport with these guys and they’re intent on making this a completely different offering from what it’s ever been before,” Maras Group managing director Steve Maras said.

“The one thing that nailed it from my perspective was the fact they are young, enthusiastic and willing to take the next step up from running a small bar to running something bigger.

Mr Brown said a reopened venue at the former Stag site would add to the momentum building in Adelaide’s East End.

“The Stag being closed is not good for the area but giving it that touch of quality will be a huge benefit to this end of town,” he said.

“There are some really good young guys doing really good things with Africola, BRKLYN and Mr Goodbar – there’s a huge buzz.

“Everyone was scared of winter but at NOLA it’s been our best winter yet and I’m confident things are only going to get better.”

Stag Public House will open by the end of next month, followed by Charlick’s in August.

Article by Giuseppe Tauriello, originally appeared in The Advertiser on 26 June, 2018