Amidst the myriad of bars boasting cosy interiors and specialising in gin, new O’Connell Street bar, Stacked Social, is hitting quite a few firsts.
Both an Adelaide-first bar that specialises in cognac and an Australia-wide high-class poker bar, Stacked Social is the modern iteration of how poker is currently being played.
Though it’s a modern idea, the Stacked Social fit-out is reminiscent of an old-school glamour that’s associated with the Rat Pack.
If you don’t know who the Rat Pack are, there’ll be enough visual cues to familiarise you. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop are just some of the names thrown around.
Stacked Social’s journey is a surprisingly brief one, with the idea born on a road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide in March, and the build beginning in May.
Opening tonight, this bar is a 12 month project whittled down to 6 through sheer determination.
At the helm of Stacked Social is professional poker player, Andrew Michael, who also doubles as the general manager. He tells us that Stacked Social is an Australian first.
The vision of Stacked Social is largely due to Kade Marsh of Alpha State, the brand manager who used the Rat Pack as his guidance throughout the entire process.
“Every time we questioned something, we’d ask ourselves – what would the Frank like? And that pretty much answered it for us,” he says.
Whilst what Frank would do or like is still up in the air, the design of Stacked Social isn’t one that could be described as unsure.
As far as the fit-out goes, everything was sourced from a supplier or created specifically for Stacked Social, and with a capacity of 100 (including a balcony overlooking O’Connell), it has all the features of a vibrant North Adelaide destination.
Marrying elegance and vintage charisma, you’re introduced to comfortable velvet blue lounges, picture-ready booths, and a bar boasting some of the best cognacs on this side of the planet.
Enter their superstar bartender, Lee, hailing from South America, who has been given complete control of the cocktail list. You can see he’s a one-man machine, eyes roving across the bar as he conjures different concoctions.
There’s a distinct creative flair behind his cocktail menu.
“Cognac is not an easy spirit to incorporate with cocktails,” Andrew laughs.
Unlike other spirits, cognac is full of flavour, which comes through the creation process. Distilled through fermented fruit juices, it’s technically a brandy (but regarded as the best of brandy) and aged for at least two years.
It means that cognac cocktails require a whole other realm of creativity and therefore a task too huge for most bars to tackle.
Stacked Social stands as Adelaide’s first cognac bar and one of the only places that’ll sell the rare varieties by the bottle.
Their special cocktail is the Stacked Cognac Espressotini, in which the espresso martini’s usual ingredient of vodka is substituted with cognac.
“As vodka doesn’t have any flavour you need to add a secondary flavour to drink it, so this cocktail is extremely interesting, in that it’s a new take on the espresso martini.”
Education seems to be a part of Stacked Social’s primary endeavours, in terms of both poker and cognac.
Cognac tasting boards will outline how the three levels of cognac; VS, VSOP and XO actually taste.
In the same theme, they’ll be holding monthly poker education sessions for beginners, mid-range players and something for the pros
The bar amalgamates three different identities, all together in an enticing presentation.
Half the venue is dedicated to poker tables and the other half to showcasing vintage charm and elegance of the glamorous ’60’s. It’s a gentlemen’s bar that doesn’t want to exclude women.
The TVs will be screening live poker games, or the footy when it’s on because at the end of the day, it’s a sports bar through and through.
It’s important to note that Stacked Social doesn’t make a profit from the games at all, the team are all about facilitating the games in a safe environment.
Stacked Social opens tonight at 8.30pm at Level 1, 106 O’Connell Street, North Adelaide.
See what they’re up to on Facebook.