Adelaide. Once known as “the city of churches”, South Australia’s capital has thrown off its long running stuffy, conservative image in recent years, liberalised its liquor licensing laws and is now home to one of the country’s most exciting bar and casual dining scenes. Taking cues from Melbourne’s own successful transformation which began in the early 1990’s, Adelaide’s once dormant CBD laneways and rooftops are roaring back to life thanks to the work of a new generation of hospitality entrepreneurs. In particular, Adelaide has enjoyed a number of rooftop bar openings these past few years which make the most of the city’s abundant sunshine and mild, Mediterranean climate. Here’s a few of the more notable ones waiting for you to discover:
2 King William St, Adelaide CBD
With commanding views over Adelaide’s parliamentary precinct from its 8th floor perch which stretch all the way to the hills in one direction and the coast in the other, 2KW (an abbreviation of its street address) is one of this city’s most impressive bar and dining spots. Highly polished and some might say even a little fancy, 2KW offers a mouth-watering menu of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and locally-sourced wine choices to match.
Across the road from St Peters Cathedral and close to Adelaide Oval in the ritzy neighbourhood of North Adelaide, Cathedral Hotel attracts a mixed crowd ranging from boisterous sports spectators to casual drinkers seeking a comfortable place to share a bottle of wine and the venue’s delicious pizza. The balcony bar also has an inviting fireplace perfect for winter, a spacious beer garden, an extensive wine list and plenty of cocktail options to choose from.
30 Waymouth St Adelaide CBD
The name gives it away. Nestled in the middle of Adelaide’s rapidly redeveloping CBD, The Gallery is a multi-function venue with an art gallery appropriately on the middle level and a rooftop bar on the upper floor. With a projector showing featured artworks and films on the wall of a nearby building, The Gallery exudes a laidback charm perfect for after work drinks (as witnessed by the large number of suits in the crowd) or a casual catch-up with friends. Given its location, the rooftop bar is especially popular in the warm summer months.
9a Anster St Adelaide CBD
One of the pioneers of Adelaide’s now booming small bar scene, Proof is a cosy laneway bar hidden just off busy Waymouth Street in the city’s CBD. Very narrow in design, this bar makes the most of its physical constraints with 1950’s inspired décor and soft jazz tunes to set a relaxing, comfortable mood more suitable for a low key get together with friends or a soothing evening chat over drinks. Its heated rooftop is also neat and well utilised, regardless of the season.
Featuring a revamped interior with wide, open spaces, The Unley is a popular spot in the leafy suburb of Parkside which sits directly south of Adelaide CBD. With its rooftop bar covered in AstroTurf and its wall panelled walls featuring large outdoors heaters, The Unley is a venue which can be enjoyed all-year round, although like most rooftop bars, it really comes to life on a balmy summer evening.