The merest suggestion of arranging to meet in Hindley Street may once have sent shivers down one's spine. From its earliest day as the dark heart of the city, Hindley Street has suffered (or shouldwe say enjoyed?) its shady reputation as the place to engage in all manner of nefarious activities - The six o'clock swill, followed by an illicit beverage in a coffee cup, two-up out the front orcards down the back. It was the seedy underbelly of Adelaide.
The fact is, things are quite different in Hindley Street now. A bustling hub of arts and culture has emerged, drawing upon the historical aspects of the precinct's past to flavour the future. Nestled in amongst this cultural rebirth is Apothecary 1878.
The Apothecary 1878 Wine Bar & Restaurant opened in December 2002 in a heritage listed building in the heart of the West End precinct – a true incarnation of a European-style wine bar. The name comes from the 139-year-old pharmacy cabinets which grace the front bar. They were discovered buried beneath layers of dust at the rear of an old Adelaide antique shop. Originally from London, these mahogany pieces feature pure crystal drawer handles with 18-carat gold leaf inscriptions. Tumbled marble floor tiles arranged in the same style as the footpaths of Italy are featured in the main bar. Classic Thonet chairs are drawn up to elegant solid marble and brass tables. Antique chaise lounges and seating have been rescued to create the unique and inviting atmosphere in the upstairs function room. Rustic brickwork lines the walls, and some 1200 wines quietly sleep behind intricate wrought iron work in the cellar restaurant. The historic feel is carried throughout with rich velvet carpet, mahogany cabinets and imported chandeliers.
The West's Coffee Palace building that houses the Apothecary 1878 has had a very colourful background since its original use as a warehouse in 1903. As part of the Temperance Movement, the building, named after its owner, John West, became a coffee palace, first in 1908 and then again in 1913. Continuing to change with the times, the beautiful building has since operated as an exclusive boarding house, La Cantina restaurant and supposedly a house of ill repute. Today, the elegant building houses an array of businesses in keeping with its intriguing past and setting the scene for its cultured future.
So ignore the sensationalist headlines, and discover for yourself...
Explore History - Embrace Culture - Experience Elegance
Open 7 Nights - Excluding Public Holidays
Bar from 5pm (Sunday from 6pm)
Dinner from 6pm
* Lunch enquiries welcome *