The team at Stem on Hindley Street is opening a “non-pretentious” small bar across the road, featuring a small natural wine list, cocktails, and a “relaxed” atmosphere.
A new wine bar for West Hindley Street is Nearly here
Nearly is co-owned by Tom Paxton, Alex Glastonbury, Cécile Gariépy, Stephen Roy and Lachie Farmer – a group who found each other from several walks of life.
177A Hindley Street, Adelaide 5000
Slated to open late December.
The five came together through Tom, with he and Lachie being long-term friends and business partners in Stem. Alex will be the general manager of Nearly, but was previously the manager of Udaberri, which is where he met Tom.
Drawing on his detailed understanding of the hospitality industry, Alex says his team will create an intimate experience in a “non-pretentious” environment.
“The focus is going to be on natural wine and just having a small rotating list and keeping it a pretty friendly, easy and relaxed place to come and get a drink. We’ll also be doing like a small cocktail list as well,” Alex says. “Just sort of like a relaxed environment to come and get a drink and hang out.”
With this calm atmosphere in mind, the quintuplet want Nearly to be a place where people can turn up in a pair of jeans and a tee and have a quick drink with no fuss.
“We’re just trying not to take ourselves too seriously,” Tom says.
Cécile, who is Tom’s partner, agrees with Alex and describes Nearly as a place to meet with friends. She reminisces of such memories from her hometown in Montréal, saying she’s excited to recreate them at the bar.
“The idea [is for it to feel like you] would invite people over for a meal or snacks at our home, so it’s, like, very friendly, as Alex was saying, very homey, nothing too fancy.” Cécile says. “For me, it was a focus because I am kind of new here and I miss having people like my friends at home.”
Cécile says “wine can be intimidating in restaurants or other venues that have a very wine-centric focus”, but the venue will try to avoid this by keeping their menu small and their price point “approachable”.
Tom, the self-proclaimed director of “boring things” within the business, hopes this approach will “build a community around the venue,” similar to what he’s seen happen at Stem.
He says Nearly’s West Hindley locale is “feature filled” but lacks anything like what they want to create.
“From a business point of view, I guess we saw this venue as potentially appealing because this end of town has really developed over the last five years. We have seen a lot more pedestrian traffic in the days and into the night,” Tom says. “It feels much more accessible and safe. It never really used to.”
Tom says he and Stephen have been friends for a long time and worked at the Royal Adelaide Hospital together.
“I knew he was making very beautiful furniture so I asked if he wanted to be a part of this project early on.”
As for the interiors, Stephen has hand-crafted the majority of the fitout himself, creating a “communal space” that plays to the home-like theme.
“One of the big focal points in here will be a big, shared table and seating up and around the bar,” Stephen says. “Lots of natural light, light colours, and warm lighting.”
Cécile has worked closely with Stephen on the interiors, and says “it’s quite nice to have that DIY feel to the place as well”.
With lots to look forward to, the Nearly team are at the end of their renovations – although it looks far from it.
“I think we’re really on the home stretch,” Stephen says. “Yeah, just really looking forward to opening soon.”
Nearly is located at 179 Hindley Street and is set to open late December. The bar will be open Wednesday through to Saturday from midday ‘til late.
Connect with the business on Instagram.