Entrepreneur Alexandra Cannizzaro tapped into the historical roots of Coromandel Place’s Bertram House – a former Bible House – to conceptualise the soon-to-be-unveiled small bar, Anna’s.
Introducing Anna’s: A queer-friendly ‘cocktail club’ in a former Bible House
Business owner Alexandra Cannizzaro doesn’t want Synagogue Place nightclub Mary’s Poppin to be the only late-night venue for Adelaide’s LGBTQIA+ scene.
That’s why the former floristry-business owner and produce supplier is opening a 70-person small bar called Anna’s in the heart of the CBD.
Friday and Saturday nights
73 Grenfell Street, Adelaide 5000
Opening in April.
“I want to create variety within Adelaide,” Alexandra says of the Coromandel Place venue, which will open to the public during the Easter long weekend.
“This place won’t be opened or owned by a private schoolboy doing the same fucking bar or club. I want to create a different scene.”
Anna’s will be a “cocktail club”, Alexandra says, which means an intimate venue offering cocktails and the opportunity to boogie on a dance floor.
Alexandra and operations manager James Donnelly (of Frankly Bagels) are still nutting-out the drinks menu, but we’re told it will most likely include staples such as Amaretto Sours and Golden Cadillac’s as well as your classic vodka soda.
A confessional booth is also on the cards.
“Inside it’s going to be all red with red lighting,” Alexandra says of the overall fit-out, “but it’s got this beautiful box I’m turning into a confessions room.”
Once people enter the booth, Alexandra says they have the opportunity to bare their soul and write something on a piece of paper. These notes will then be collected by staff and plastered around the bar as an homage to our “dirty little secrets”, she says.
This risqué theme is something applied to the name of the venue, with Alexandra explaining “Anna” sounds like someone who’s conservative but they’re subverted once they enter the space. This premise is also applied to the bouncer’s attire.
“In the winter time I’ll get my security guards wearing black leather trench coats,” she says.
“I’m not really that religious but I like how different the space is, the architecture.
“You can go so many ways with the concepts. It’s just different. And at the end of the day, Adelaide is the city of churches. The most profitable business in the world is a church!”
Bertram House was built in 1898 as a British and Foreign Bible Society, which is a group devoted to publishing and distributing the bible.
Alexandra has experience working in a range of other industries, but one of her main contracting gigs is with the State Government’s tourism department.
She explains part of her role is encouraging growth within postcode 5000, and although the property wasn’t Alexandra’s first choice, she says Anna’s could do this by providing a new hospitality experience outside of the regular late-night precincts of the East and West ends.
It would also do something different in an unorthodox building.
“I’m not scared of taking any risks,” she says, “and I want to create a community.
“Adelaide is not doing anything about it so I’m like, I have to start now. Do it my own way.”
Anna’s is located at 73 Grenfell Street and is slated to open in early April. Connect with the business on Facebook.