Food Drink

FIRST LOOK: The West Oak Hotel

From the ruins of the Worldsend rises Adelaide’s latest pub addition that’s set to give the west end scene a well-deserved refresh.

It’s official! After more than two decades, the Worldsend Hotel has closed it’s doors for good. Once a popular spot for uni students, live music and classic pub grub, the establishment is undergoing a major face lift, relaunching anew as the West Oak Hotel.

This is just one of many joints tipped for revitalisation as Adelaide’s west end welcomes the opening of the New Royal Adelaide Hospital (nRAH) and many more state-of-the-art buildings to come. Until now, there really hasn’t been much in the way of food and drink on the west side of town. This will mean if you’re if you’re visiting someone at the nRAH or you’re one of the hundreds working at the hospital, you can duck out and grab a pub lunch that’s within walking distance.

While the West Oak Hotel has been an ambitious project it has had a tremendous amount of foresight, that deserves a round of applause. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect with the hospital opening. We think this will give the West End a good kick up the ass and we’ll soon see more and more venues popping up in the area over the next few years, if not months.

The hotel’s a modern take on the classic Aussie pub but they plan to steer away from schnitzels and pool tables, instead focusing on creating a relaxed and stylish space and bringing back uni drinking culture.

Long gone are the dark purple walls and mismatched decor, now replaced with a new coat of mint green paint, vintage lighting and an abundance of flora. In short, it’s Instagram worthy and the fresh look helps to accentuate the West Oak’s enormous size and historic architecture.

The first floor remains home to the traditional front bar, the perfect place to grab a drink and chill, and now also the West Oak Deli, a cafe style space with a simple menu of toasties, pub sandwiches, cheese boards and charcuterie. The deli additionally features a convenient twist – a side access window that will allow passersby in Fenn Place to grab barista made coffee with ease.

Upstairs is the Jolly Bar, a cosy and intimate spot with a killer neon sign that has all your gin, craft beer and wine needs sorted. The bar has an alternative purpose too, to pay tribute to an esteemed surgeon, a nod to their friends at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

The Jolly Bar connects directly to the function room and gallery; a wide open space with big windows that flood the white walls with beautiful natural light. Keep this one in mind for your next soirée because there’s even a balcony area too, allowing you to soak up the rays whilst you sip. Perfect.

At the back of the building is the quintessential beer garden, decked out with a vertical garden for a welcomed dash of colour and a massive flat screen TV, a necessity for Friday night footy. However, amidst the rejuvenation, a piece of the Worldsend will live on as their long standing tradition of live music continues, with the West Oak planning to host bands and acoustic musicians on weekends.

At the helm of this transformation is not only Frame Creative, who have previously designed spaces for the Royal Croquet Club and most recently, Fat Controller, but also Evan Coghlan, who has commanded some of Adelaide’s most distinguishable bars including Electric Circus and Rocket Rooftop.

Safe to say, the West Oak is in good hands, perhaps some of the best in the business and will definitely breathe new life and a bit of youth back into the pub scene of the West.

The West Oak is expected to open on the 6th of October, with coffee available from the 3rd, just in time for the spring sunshine and can be found at 208 Hindley Street.

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