Owner Mick Krieg says the venue – which has developed a reputation for its large range of small-batch gins – will finish up at 13 Frome Street at the end of next month and re-open around mid-May on the site of the former Jah’z Lounge café/restaurant on the corner of Vaughan Place and Cinema Place in the East End.
The Howling Owl is currently licensed for about 80 people, and this will increase to around 160 in the new location, where it will continue to operate as a café by day and a cocktail bar by night.
“The bar will look very similar [to what it does now], there’ll be a couple of booths, lots of benches for people to sit around, and we will also have an upstairs area as well,” Krieg says.
“We’ll be doing some extra tapas along the way, because we’ll have a kitchen.”
Krieg also owns the two businesses next to The Howling Owl in Frome Street – comedy venue The Rhino Room, which will move to Pirie Street, and gallery/shop Urban Cow Studio, which will also relocate to Cinema Place. An archway will be built to connect The Howling Owl with Urban Cow.
While Krieg has previously expressed regret that the 1850s building which houses all three businesses is to be demolished, the new Howling Owl location offers plenty of potential. It is next to the Exeter Hotel and the revamped Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, as well the new tram stop on North Terrace.
“The only disappointment was that we couldn’t fit the Rhino Room in there as well!
“I think we are going to turn that area into a very vibrant little precinct. I think the Adelaide City Council are quite excited about what they have planned for the area [including new lighting and plants], but also having us move in there as well, so working together with the council I think it’s going to become like the next little precinct of Adelaide.
“It’s going to be a real thoroughfare between the tram stop and Rundle Street.”
The Howling Owl’s current food offering – which includes gourmet rolls, grazing boards, pies, soups, salads and sweets – will eventually be expanded to include tapas and pizza, with Krieg envisioning a fresh menu in place by next spring.
Gin will continue to be the main focus for the bar, but it is also looking to branch out into specialty whiskeys.
Meanwhile, Krieg says that last party at the Frome Street café/bar will be held on April 29.
“It’s just a bit of an opportunity for all of those long-term followers to come down and pay their respects and say goodbye to the building.”
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