The bottle shop is the latest enterprise from food and beverage entrepreneur Gareth Lewis, a former Adelaide City Council candidate and one of the team behind the Kings Head Hotel, the Beer & BBQ Festival, event company GA Entertainment (Groovin the Moo, Soundwave, Parklife, Big Day Out, Laneway) and Jack Ruby’s restaurant and bar.
Sturt Street Cellars is located in the original front bar of the King’s Head on the corner of King William and Sturt Streets. Lewis took up ownership of the hotel in 2008 with a focus on local food and wine, but the venue didn’t have a takeaway facility until the Cellars opened last Friday.
“This corner of the city has changed dramatically,” says Lewis.
“The volume of residents has increased, and local workers and residents pop in for after-work drinks, drink one or two beers, then look to grab a bottle and go home.
“While we offered a range of beers and wines to drink on-site, for takeaways we had to send people to independent bottle shops to get good smaller brands.
“We decided to maximise the corner of the hotel by redeveloping the space that was originally the front bar, to create a bottle shop, tasting space and bar, with access from both King William Street and the Sturt Street doors.”
Sturt Street Cellars features a concrete bar with taps for up to eight locally produced craft beers available fresh from the keg, a long communal table for tastings and snacks, large glass-fronted fridges for chilled South Australian drinks and shelves of boutique wines.
“Beer and wine holds the same weight at Sturt Street Cellars,” says Lewis.
“We wanted to offer people the ability to take away some of the beers that are only available in keg format, so we have installed a Crowler machine at the bar –we can fill disposable 948ml cans, seal them [using the machine] and label them ourselves for takeaways. It’s the first one in South Australia.”
A shelf has been stocked with locally produced foods, such as Kommon Grounds Coffee, For the Love of Bacon Bacon Jam, Moto Chilli Sauce and Bierhaus Soda Water. Lewis says the food side of things is to be developed further, with smallgoods and cheeses to come.
Next week, the downstairs space will be opened up for masterclasses, tastings and private dinners.
But for now, the Sturt Street Cellars will host weekly beer and wine tastings which people can enjoy with a simple menu including toasted sandwiches and other “snack stuff – anything that goes with drinking local beer and wine”.
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