Online natural wine retailer LOC Bottle Shop will launch a specialty natural and lo-fi wine bar on Hindmarsh Square next month.
LOC Bottle Shop is opening a natural wine bar on Hindmarsh Square
LOC Bottle Shop launched back in May while the country was in shutdown mode.
A majority of Adelaide’s bars, cafés and restaurants were closed for the foreseeable future, so there was no better time to launch a wine delivery service, particularly one focussed on difficult-to-find natural, zero-zero and lo-fi wines.
The decision to launch LOC in this format was one of compromise.
LOC Bottle Shop was always going to have an online presence, but founder Olivia Moore envisioned the brand as having a physical, bricks-and-mortar presence.
“In my eyes, it was always going to be a [retail] shop,” Olivia says.
“Liquor licensing is extremely difficult in South Australia, and so COVID happened and it just fit in that I would just do the website, because that’s what people needed at the time.”
A retail liquor licence specifically is notoriously difficult to come by in South Australia (and a prohibitively expensive process), but as the city opened up post-COVID, Olivia saw an opportunity in opening up under a small venue licence.
Olivia scouted a space on Hindmarsh Square through Renew Adelaide, contracted design firm Kipfler for the fit out, Super Assembly to execute the branding for the shop, and she’s been happily chipping away the former hairdresser tenancy over the last three weeks.
On 24 October, five months since its initial online launch, LOC Bottle Bar will open at 6 Hindmarsh Square.
At the back of the venue will be a wall of LOC-stocked wines, which patrons will be invited to browse through and select from. The wine will be on offer at retail prices, plus corkage.
There will be seating for 24 people inside (though slightly reduced while COVID-safe plans are in place), and an outdoor area is licensed for a further 48 people.
Olivia is in discussions with the property manager about also using some of Hindmarsh Square’s green space, which is currently fenced off for the Pullman Adelaide, to allow picnic-style seating as well.
While a retail licence is still Olivia’s ultimate goal, LOC Bottle Bar will be an opportunity to connect with customers in real life and offer tasting experiences of the range of wines LOC has on offer.
“I miss the actual communication with customers, because people who are into wine, specifically this type of wine, really enjoy having the conversation about it, learning a little bit about the farming, the people, the making of it,” she says.
“But it’s also just the ability to taste… the ability for me to be able to open wines by the glass every day, and I can change that constantly and then give people insight into regions or producers or different varietals that they’ve never heard of.
“Because I try and get wines that both people aren’t aware of and aren’t expecting, or haven’t heard of yet, like really tiny producers in Europe… It just adds that point of discussion, which I love.”
Olivia was keen for the bar to have a slight retail feel, so Kipfler’s Claire Markwick-Smith has designed the space to give prominence to the wine on display.
“Natural wine labels are so loud and colourful anyway, and we wanted to have a space that put that on show, rather than compete with it,” Claire says.
“There’ll be some big pops of colour in the counter and the furniture, but the rest is stripped back.”
Super Assembly developed LOC’s branding, and the relationship has been ongoing since the website launched. There will be minor tweaks as LOC turns physical, but much of the feel of the space will come from the brand’s established identity.
“I feel like there’s a connection between [the website and this space],” Super Assembly’s co-director, Selena Battersby says.
“The LOC branding’s pretty fun, and I feel like it’s something that translates when you walk in.
“There’s going to be a really nice art complement as well.”
“Local SA artists,” Claire says.
“It’ll just push that approachable, community-oriented atmosphere, we hope.”
Olivia and the Super Assembly team have been discussing the possibility of a physical space from as early as January this year. This has made the relatively quick turnaround for the bar a much easier process.
“Having the base of friendship as well, it has that level of honesty, where you don’t have to wait down the track, you can say, ‘Nah, don’t like it,’ ‘Love it,’ and it can progress,” Super Assembly co-director Tamrah Petruzzelli says.
“Because the timeline has been pretty tight… but all of us have come together and have just got it done.”
LOC Bottle Bar will launch on Saturday, 24 October. Keep up to date with its progress by following the bar on Instagram.