date of visit: Wednesday 22 May 2013
disclaimer: I was a guest at the Loft launch party.
With licensing laws changing to accommodate small bars and an increasing number of wine bars, I think it’s obvious to all that Adelaide’s bar scene is undergoing a subtle change. While there may be some very real concerns about whether or not Adelaide can sustain all these venues, the people behind Loft Oyster and Wine Bar* certainly think it can.
Loft is a massive, first floor bar at the Morphett Street end of Gouger Street. It actually opened about a month ago and a friend hosted his farewell drinks there a couple of weeks back. I was unable to head out that night but fortunately, karma looked on me kindly and an invitation to the official launch party landed in my inbox.
Once the issue of what to wear had been solved (and yes, if you’re heading somewhere straight from work this does represent a dilemma!), and we’d eaten some dinner, it was time for my friend and me to head to Loft.
The red carpet was out for the VIPs and we headed upstairs to be greeted with glasses of Louis Roederer Champagne. One of my biggest pet peeves of all time is people referring to random sparkling wine as Champagne. In Adelaide, of all places, we should know better. I’ve been to weddings in very flash hotels here where guests are offered “Champagne” only for it to be Australian sparkling wine (and not even locally produced). So I was thrilled that the invitation delivered on its promise, because a wine bar that messed that up would really suffer in the credibility stakes!
The bar runs along one side and the room is broken up at the far end by a circular curtain. The street facing side of the room has a balcony which was all opened up. This was fantastic because even though it was a relatively cool night, it helped keep the interior area cool and comfortable. The downside was, of course, that people were smoking on the balcony, and every now and then you’d get a breeze of slightly less than fresh air. I’m not sure how you’d fix that but maybe something the Loft management can consider is designating part of the balcony a smoking area and keeping the doors and windows there closed.
Being a launch party, I’m not in a position to comment on the usual beverage selection (or prices) but I was really impressed with a large counter which played host to an interesting and broad selection of white wines. Someone with more than a passing interest in wine put it together: there aren’t many venues where you can find Ducks in a Row Fiano side by side with Greywacke Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc and a Chablis … (name dropping over, I promise!).
I didn’t try any of the canapés (yes, perhaps I ate too much at dinner) but my friend, purely in the interests of research and the integrity of this review, tried an oyster which received a thumbs up.
Loft was formally launched by Ben Tolstoshev of The Lane, with a very short and sweet speech that allowed everyone to get back to the serious socialising!
Loft is open Wednesday – Sunday and for wine drinkers I’d say it’s a must visit venue. For everyone else, I’d head along and check it out because you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy. I know I’ll be heading back to take a serious look at those white wines …
* Loft’s website is under development: currently it’s just a landing page.