Traditionally, casino bars haven't had the best reputation. 'Cheap and cheerful' would be the best thing you could say about most of them. That's starting to change and the trend in recent years has been to take things upmarket. While Balcony Bar isn't going to trouble any dedicated cocktail lounge in Adelaide, it does give casino patrons a more subdued drinking option.
The venue's laidback atmosphere is spearheaded by tasteful decor and a focus on 1960's style music numbers. Most nights of the week feature lounge acts playing jazz, easy listening and contemporary music. It gives things a certain Rat Pack-era Las Vegas feel. The entertainment gets a bit more animated on Fridays and Saturday nights, but the midweek crowd are pretty laidback and the place is an oasis by casino standards.
The cocktail list, meanwhile, is surprisingly elaborate. Admittedly, the drinks are skewed towards a female clientele - can't imagine too many men opting for a French Kiss, Blue Mist or a Lychee and Passionfruit Martini - but maybe we're just old fashioned. If that sounds a bit sophisticated, there's also an entire range of shooters available - the Giddy Up is all class. Alternatively, you can opt for a simple beer, a basic spirit or go with one of the wines instead. Either way, this is a relaxed bar and a good excuse to get away from pokies.
Edmond Lowenstein, June 2009