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Acclaimed laneway bar closes doors

Business

A wine bar off Rundle Mall, named the state’s best only last year, has fallen into liquidation.

 

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Lindes Lane, the laneway wine bar and café that opened just off Rundle Mall in 2015 will be wound up.

It was named South Australia’s best beer café / wine bar at the Restaurant and Catering Awards for Excellence last year.

Tarquin Koch Accounting and Insolvency Services has been appointed to wind the business up.

Manager of the firm James Robertson told InDaily that despite the bar’s recognition, it suffered from intense competition within Adelaide’s small bar scene, as well as a general weakness in consumer spending in the night-time economy.

“There’s a lot of competition for small bars … and not as many dollars going around,” said Robertson during a phone interview this morning.

“There was no (particular) straw that broke the camel’s back.

“Economic conditions generally … just a build-up of factors.”

He said Lindes Lane had been up for sale since about May this year, but there had been no takers.

“They tried to sell the business but couldn’t get anyone – no one was interested.

“It was on the market for some time.

“So they had to close the doors.”

He said the lease expired in August and liquidators were appointed last month.

Restaurant and Catering Industry Association CEO Wes Lambert told InDaily profit margins across the industry were at historic lows.

He said the cost of doing business, including wages, rent and utilities had increased significantly over the past decade, but because of stagant wages across the economy, hospitality venues have felt unable to significantly increase prices.

“Our industry is at one of the lowest net profit margins in all of history in Australia,” said Lambert.

“The price of beer … has been relatively the same on average over the past ten years.

“(Meanwhile) the award rate … has gone up 36 per cent. Rent is (up) 35 to 36 per cent.”

He said profit margins for small venues sat around 4.8 per cent.

“Our industry has no pressure release,” he said.

“All costs are going up but prices are staying the same.

“(And) wages for the general population … have been stagnating too, for some years.”

Meanwhile, said Lambert, competition has intensified.

In the year 2000, he said, there were 15,000 businesses within the industry – now, there are about 50,000.

The phone line at Lindes Lane has been disconnected and InDaily has been unable to contact its former operators.

The venue also offered a lunch and dinner menu. You can read InDaily‘s review, by the late food writer Mary Taylor, here.

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