Write because you want to, not because you have to.
For that twinkle in your eye
Pop-up bars having recently taken Adelaide by storm and most of them seem to make their customers fall in love with them during their short period of business. One such business that has recently captured my attention through their ever-so-efficient and clean representation of services and meals on Instagram is Augnablik.
Augnablik is around for the duration of the Fringe season
Pronounced as oag.nah.bleek. this café located on Hindley Street is the baby of four very interesting people. Aimed at being a summer pop-up cafe on the ground floor of Format, this space offers its customers with impeccable coffee from local roasters, delicious vegetarian food, refreshing smoothies and juices, art exhibitions and displays, and Live music/DJs.
I had a sit-down with one of the co-owners Dane, who explained the way the business works and the different components that make it this small café a stand-out.
Who are the faces behind Augnabalik? There's 4 of us – myself (Dane Hirsinger), my wife (Sigurros Eldsdottir), one of my oldest mates (Colin McAleer) and his wife (Georgie Alexander).
How did you go about getting this space to set up your pop-up café? Colin and myself used to work together at the Pigeon Island cafe at Tuxedo Cat. After that, we both moved to London to pursue different projects - I set up a café, which offered services of a gallery as well. I met Sigurros during that time, so after I left my business, we travelled for a bit. Colin was invested in looking after his newborn baby, so when he returned to Adelaide, we met up with Harriet (who used to own Parsec café - Augnablik's predecessor) and started chatting about being sublet the space. That's how Augnablik came into existence in December 2016.
How did you draw inspiration for your uniquely named café? All 4 of us had a brainstorming session, where we sat down and thought of names. Initially, all I could think of was "Instant Coffee", as a funny name for a pop-up cafe (and that is not what our space specialises in offering). But, there was a cool suggestion by Colin to come up with a name with an Icelandic theme. Sigurros is Icelandic, so she and the rest of us played with that idea. We learnt that "Augnabalik" was an Icelandic term that referred to "blink of an eye" and "moments". That's how we came up with the logo and with the idea of creating as many good moments in this short period of time, we decided to give the green light to Augnabalik.
What kind of cuisine do you offer to your customers? Colin and Georgie are responsible for creating our menu. Colin is a huge fan of Indian food, so we have incorporated the spices and flavours of India and also offer Mexican options such as breakfast tacos. All our food is primarily vegetarian (edging with vegan) and are put together using raw ingredients that taste good. All our food is made from scratch, so you can be rest assured that we'll be feeding our customers food that seriously tastes good.
Tell me a bit more about your space, which is obviously so much more than "just another café". We collectively wanted to run a café for a short period of time and make it as successful and memorable a business as possible. After we were sublet this space by Harriet from [Format], we didn't have much time to put the effort into turning this place around. So, we all decided to cobble our monetary funds together to hire the tables and chairs that we currently have in our space, in addition to bringing together scraps of wood that we found here and there to display the potted plants on the wall.
While we are a small space, we make efficient use of it by bringing together the feels of an art gallery with a café with a thrift store. Sigurros is in charge of curating the art aspect of this space, so every 2 weeks, we switch between various local artists and give them the opportunity to display their artwork and consequently get some exposure for their work. This way, people are further intrigued to come in and check out what Adelaide's art scene has to offer. There are also vinyls and zines available for purchase, and this space is run by Format Studios.
Do you use locally sourced roasters to bring us your delicious coffee? Yes, we collaborate with like-minded local roasters who supply us with top quality coffee beans. We have a rotating system of roasters, where we feature a different roaster every month. We started off with Elementary on Waymouth Street, then featured My Kingdom For A Horse just off Whitmore Square, then proceeded with Two Fish, and are currently in planning for another residency to take space for the next month. This way, we know that we are supporting the farmers by providing their well-grown produce straight to our customers and helping the farmers get the most benefits out of it.
By doing so, we also offer diversity in the flavours, so our coffee always has something exciting to offer. Additionally, Dane also offers training services to people by appointment. Additionally, we host a "coffee cupping" session per roaster residency, where we showcase their offering and introduce people to our roaster(s) of the month.
You can connect with the lovely team at Augnablik on Facebook // Instagram to keep yourself updated on what's happening over the next three weeks. With the pop-up cafe offering their services for the duration of the Adelaide Fringe season, make sure you stop by for a cuppa, a nibble, and a chat.