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Jack Ruby American Restaurant

Home > Adelaide > Dinner | Food and Wine | Lunch | Restaurants
by Bonnie McBride (subscribe)
I am a student/writer always looking for a new place to try.
Published July 20th 2013
Americana meets Adelaide's underground
Jack Ruby

First and foremost the best thing about Jack Ruby is the free popcorn. Hands down. That is not to take away from the cool, (literally) underground vibe and outstanding décor but anything free is a godsend to a student and it is a nice courtesy. The experience of eating at Jack Ruby's is that of when your parents would take you to McDonald's as a kid and your mind would boggle at the endless options of greasy goodness.

Jack Ruby bar diner
Jack Ruby's impressive spread: Hershey's Shake, Mac 'n' Cheese Balls, Buffalo Wings, Crinkle Chips, Onion Rings and Corn on the Cob

Everything on the menu at Jack Ruby's screams of indulgent comfort food, but with an adult twist. Take for example the Spiked Shakes that adorn the menu; we had the Hershey's made up of Bourbon, peanut butter and vanilla bean ice cream which was the perfect accompaniment to our feast of grease. Rather than go for the burgers we opted for a range of different starters and sides including Wisconsin Mac 'n' Cheese Balls with truffle aioli, Jack's Buffalo Wings with blue cheese dipper and celery, Beer Battered Onion Rings, Crinkle Chips and Scorched Corn on the Cob (two hungry 20 year old girls are a phenomenon not to be messed with). My favourite item was definitely the Mac 'n' Cheese Balls with truffle aioli, small and packed with flavour they showed to me just what Jack Ruby is all about.

The space is truly remarkable, hidden from the buses and busyness of King William St you could walk past without even realising it was there, the only indication being two curious signs on either end of the stair way entrance. After walking down the dungeon-like steps you are met by two huge doors that lead into one of Adelaide's most impressive basement bars.

Jack Ruby

Named after Jack Ruby, a nightclub owner from Dallas who famously shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of John F Kennedy, Jack Ruby describes itself as 'a basement full of experience and passion'. The walls are adorned with prints of 1960s America, including a picture of the actual shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby which takes up a whole wall. The bathrooms are split into 'Jack' for men and 'Ruby' for the ladies, and the outstanding attention to detail in the furnishing gives a sense of sophistication which is reflected in the food and service.

Jack Ruby live music
Live music at Jack Ruby

The venue is impressively large for its location, and hosts a 'Soul Social' every Saturday night with live music and plenty of room to do the twist. Jack Ruby presents refined and high quality comfort food within a truly unique location.
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Why? Take a step back in time to 1960s America
When: Mon- Thurs: 11:00am-Midnight, Fri: 11:00am-3:00am, Sat: 12:00pm-3:00am
Phone: (08) 8231 5795
Where: Basement, 89 King William St, Adelaide SA 5000
Cost: Entrees $10-$15, Mains approx $20
Your Comment
I've never known a restaurant to serve popcorn before.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12626) 2848 days ago
As a Yank, I am a little underwhelmed by a restaurant called Jack Ruby.
by jsdri (score: 0|6) 2847 days ago
There is a some restaurants in South Africa called the Spur with the same sort of layout. Of course that was back in the early 90's. This looks like a fabulous place.
by GilliansCamera (score: 2|381) 2839 days ago
I second that emotion, jsdri. Naming an American comfort food restaurant Jack Ruby's is a lot like a pub named Martin Bryant serving shooters. Really really bad taste and enough to make me not go.
by jill (score: 1|70) 2844 days ago
You guys are right - bad name. In addition to the previous comments, also a bit copy-ish of the 'Ruby Tuesday' restaurant franchise as well. I do like the idea of an American diner here though.
by emily (score: 0|2) 2842 days ago
We will all get bigger and fatter just like the Americans with their huge serves..I never saw a skinny yank when I went there..
by makar (score: 1|38) 2650 days ago
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