Published: September 16, 2019

There will be no nursery rhymes playing when Tom McLean opens his new bar and restaurant, Jack & Jill, on Pirie St next month.

Mr McLean, a former 2KW worker, is preparing for his first hospitality venture and will take over the former Old Friend site, which closed in April with unpaid debts of more than $120,000.

It comes as 2018 MasterChef winner Sashi Cheliah prepares to open his restaurant, Gaja by Sashi, on Pirie St, joining other new ventures Part Time Lover and Fino Vino nearby.

Mr McLean, who named the bar after his mother and father, says he has always wanted to own a restaurant and bar.

“I’ve always been interested in the location and obviously the old tenant got the boot, and (the landlord) was happy to give me the opportunity,” he said. “This has been a long time coming, but I finally won out.”

The restaurant will be on the ground floor while the basement will be the home of a new bar, which will receive a “new lease of life” in about a year’s time.

Mr McLean said people could expect good wine, cocktails and modern Australian cuisine.

“It allows us to encompass anything with all the cultures that Australia has … and it leaves things open and broad for us,” he said.

Knice Enterprises owned Old Friend before it was evicted in April after failing to pay more than $120,000 in rent to its landlords.

The venue was previously called Pirie & Co, which Mr McLean managed between 2013 and 2015, and before that was part of The Wine Underground.

Jack & Jill Restaurant and Bar is expected to open in early October.

A recent Adelaide University study estimates that 1250 jobs – 685 full-time – have been created since the introduction of small venue licence legislation in 2013.

As of December 2018, 109 venues were operating with the licence, and 13 licences were pending.

Jack & Jill bar and restaurant setting up on Pirie St Adelaide by Celeste Villani originally seen in The Advertiser, 15 September, 2019.

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