Oscar X Oscar Nine

In the heart of Hindley Street, nestled in between two unexpected suspects and hidden away behind emerald green shaded doors, is the next ‘big’ little thing in Adelaide’s nightlife scene. With a capacity of only 100, Oscar is the newest addition to the ever-growing niche bar scene here in Adelaide.

As opposed to other hidden gems springing up around Adelaide’s offbeat laneways, Oscar comes with a unique twist. The door staff at Oscar reserve the right to impinge a strict twenty-one years and over policy – a first of its kind in Adelaide.

And who, you might ask, are the faces behind Oscar? Well, Oscar is, in fact, the latest expansion to the ever growing list of venues brought to you by hospitality entrepreneurs Paul Glen, James Curd and James Hiller.

Glen, Curd and Hiller run the popular Crippen Place venues Rocket Rooftop, Mr Kim’s and Electric Circus, alongside a handful of other establishments including favourites Nordburger, Botanic Bar and Golden Boy.

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Oscar vibes

The Adelaidian were invited to attend the exclusive Oscar media launch Friday week ago and, although expectations were set high, Oscar definitely did not fail to astound.

Upon arrival, we were graciously welcomed inside by door staff manager and familiar face, Madz Ando, through a somewhat hidden door cut into the side of a sleek, metallic wall. Here we were met by a 2 by 2 metre air-locked room and, as the door snapped shut behind us, so too did the hustle and bustle that is Hindley Street. Clicking open the second door, we were immersed into a world of it’s own: a world that is Oscar.

“We really wanted to create a place that was innovative, sophisticated and intimate. A place that added something unique to the ever-growing vibrancy of the West End,” says Madz, “Oscar is a smaller space than our other venues, which we think is perfect for an urban cocktail bar.”

A sophisticated slit lane bar leads to the elevated black and white tiled dance floor, located at the far side of the venue. The space incorporates a minimalist wooden finish with a hint of industrialism, given its matt black shelving, low hanging beams and steel mesh sheeting. In fact, the sleek interior design was constructed and conceived by the co-owners of Oscar themselves, with a little help from friends.

Evidently a speakeasy prohibition styled bar, accounting for the twenty-one years plus policy and further foreshadowed by it’s hidden entrance way, Oscar really does exude quite the definitive New York City feel.

Oscar successfully captures a quintessential New York vibe, and it’s an intimate hidden space for those who know about it. The space has a sense of metropolitan attitude.

But Oscar isn’t just a bar. In a small corner of the establishment, double glazed windows offer a sneak peek into co-owner James Curd’s newly renovated recording studio, located in the basement of the building. The studio plays home to local record label Oscar Nine, which brings you musical talents such as Favored Nations, Chez Moon and Johnny Castro (Yeah Boy) – formerly half of the duo that was Parachute Youth.


Behind the scenes in the Oscar Nine studio

As we admired the supposed one tone mixer down below and Curd’s infamous keyboard collection (one of which was actually formerly possessed by non other than electronica duo Daft Punk), we were greeted by James Curd himself and were lucky to have been extended the opportunity to take a tour of the studio below.

Ushered past bar staff and led down a flight of stairs, James Curd escorted us through the Oscar Nine studio, which comprised of a state of the arts production studio (visible from above) and a further vocal studio, drum room and green room.

Here we learnt that with an Intercom system in play, Oscar’s patrons are, on occasion, afforded the opportunity to listen to the freshly synthesised sounds being produced live below and transmitted through to speakers above.

However, regular nights at the bar will see Oscar’s music vary night by night, with Sunday’s hip-hop nights being a particular favourite of ours.

Oscar Bar Manager Denvar Summers and Crippen Place Venue Manager Dan Atkins have developed a cultivated and diverse seasonal cocktail spread, with each of the drink’s names being inspired by NYC landmarks.

Although mostly premium quality spirits are found on offer at Oscar, including a range of small batch and craft spirits, the bar menu is designed to appeal to all types of drinkers, experimenting with a variety of products: some familiar flavour pairings and unfamiliar alike.

Denvar’s personal favourite is the Alexander Place, an infusion of gin, elderflower, red grapes and apples freshly juiced from behind the bar.

The drinks are competitively priced considering the quality of goods provided, with cocktails at an affordable price of $15 or $16.

So, if you’re after good vibes, good conversation, a developed cocktail spread and music akin, then Oscar might just be the one for you!


Oscar, located 99 Hindley Street, is open from 9pm till 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, and 8pm till 2am on Sundays.

Image credit: Oscar Facebook Page, Oscar Instagram & Oscar Nine Instagram

Oscar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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