If treasure hunting but the bar version sounds like fun to you, you’re in luck. We’ve done all the hard work for you and uncovered hidden gems tucked away where you would least expect. Indulge your inner James Bond behind these secret doors and basements.
The Barlow Room
Downstairs from Lindes Lane, Adelaide
The only thing that is standing between you and a martini in an art-deco, otherworldly backdrop is a fireplace. Fear not, it’s ornamental so no scorching required. Pull to reveal The Barlow Room, named after the original Barlow Shoes. The opulent 1920s aesthetic comes to life with vintage finds, op-shop furniture, family heirlooms and of course, an original antique German piano. This intimate bar with a capacity of 50, is the perfect spot to get cosy this winter and enjoy some cheese and wine.
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Downstairs, 22 Gilbert Place, Adelaide
Blink, and you’ll miss it. The only giveaway to accessing the biggest stash of whisky in Adelaide is a tiny break in the stonework of Russian restaurant Red October. This Asian inspired bar was named Suzie Wong as an ode to the bar in Moscow that first brought owners Marina Tazhdynova and Roman Tazhdynov together. Back to the whisky though, the ever-growing collection now boasts over 300 bottles. If whisky isn’t your drink of choice, their seasonal cocktails will be. Forget the old espresso martini. These cocktails will challenge you with unexpected but delicious details like peaches paired with edible sand.
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15 Peel St, Adelaide
Nestled somewhere between Peel and Leigh Street, you’ve probably strolled past Maybe Mae countless times. Maybe Mae took out 2017 South Australian Cocktail Bar of the Year at the Australia Bar Awards so is definitely worth the extra effort. Take a turn down the stairway to find a beautifully detailed timber wall and look for a keyhole in the wall to find the hidden door. Step back into the 1920’s, completed with luxe leather booths, a copper tinned bar and custom glass light features made by Jam Factory. Championing local produce, Maybe Mae’s ethos when it comes to drinks is simple. Think creative but minimalist, seasonal, and always surprising.
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63 Hyde St, Adelaide
They say nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to get your hands on some of the best whisky and gin available in Adelaide. Tucked away down Hyde Street, be on the lookout for several wooden doors to find the sweet spots that lead into Baddog. Hint: look for a sign in a window- ‘if the light is on, we’re home’. This unique bar is the essence of owner Zac Markov. After a healthy dose of globetrotting, Zac wanted to open a bar where only the finest booze is served, so there is not a drop in sight that wouldn’t receive his full endorsement. Menus are non-existent at Baddog so forget wasting 40 minutes before you get there trying to decide what you are going to order. Trust the creative bar staff to whip you up something a bit spesh.
Image: daniel.purvis via Instagram