Paul Kelly Design was contacted by the client David Hales in early 2008, after the finalization of
another project completed for the client ‘ Observatory Hotel’, to create a small scale pizza and wine
bar in the historic Salamanca Precinct.
The brief from the client was to create a bar that could trade from lunch to late night, by keeping a
low and small profile and not being too definite in the direction / markets that were being attracted.
The space was to offer an internal offer of high volume pizza and wine / bar and an external retail
face offering, Pizza, Coffee and Gelato.
The space previous to the renovation was two tenancies, one with a Fish and Chip shop and the
other a historic walkway with cobble stone floors, housing an ATM. A protracted battle was
undertaken to obtain the local government clearance to open the two tenancies to each other, due to
the history of the space, but this was finally obtained and works began.
The concept PKD came up with for the space was based around a classic heritage style interior with a
raw / stripped concept balancing out the charm.
The internal bar space features a large bar area, high bar standing area, side and rear lounges
(which are raised) and wide outdoor tables to the street. The Pizza kitchen can be viewed from the
raised lounge area, and alot of natural light spills through the space from the wide openings to the
The interior of the space prior to the renovation consisted of painted stone walls that were
constructed of a mixture of plaster and rubble. This was an early method of securing the sandstone /
bluestone walls, but is not always the most appealing of surfaces. To cover this to the rear of the bar PKD
sourced some handmade convict bricks that were taken from a demolished turn of the century
building and placed these in the space to make it feel more original.
The ceiling in the space was the original timber joists for the floor over, PKD adapted these and placed
acoustic lining between the joists to increase the noise absorption, painting all the existing timber
columns and ceiling white for continuity.
The fittout looks like it was existing but all of the original elements were imported to give it that lived in
feel, the idea being that the bar has always been here but we've just discovered it.
The space uses alot of raw steel mixed with the white, the back of bar shelving unit is a continual
piece of steel section, bolted into the wall (with secret LED lighting), the bar is made up of steel
profiles, all distressed with antique mirror in between to maximize the depth.
The main feature of the room is the diving spine wall, with is the wall between the two original
tenancies, this PKD have covered in white tiles, with every tile laid in a different direction. It has the
appearance of the original wall from 30 years ago and the tile
pattern with the lighting has a great effect as the night goes on as the tiles show different shapes in
The raised lounge area, which is hidden between the recesses in the white tiled wall is a great place
for customers to get into the space early and hide in the background enjoying a few wines, on the
leather banquettes with the custom designed acrylic pendants over.
Photography: Sean Fennessy