Barman Scott Taddeo had just returned from paternity leave when the idea for Peel Street's newest venue started to take shape. The Hub Adelaide had moved out of the strip and vacated a ground-level boardroom.
Taddeo, who’s managed Alfred's Bar on Peel Street for five years, and Scott Quick, owner of Alfred's and nearby Malt & Juniper, had long eyed the spot as the perfect location for a cosy wine bar. A few months later, they signed the lease. In just four weeks, Jennie, a no-frills wine bar, will open in the spot between Peel St Restaurant and Gondola Gondola.
“At the time of signing the lease, we didn't feel like there was a really defined wine bar down this end of town,” Taddeo says. He namechecks Leigh Street Wine Room, but where that venue is equal parts bar and restaurant, Jennie will have a laser-sharp focus on drinks.
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Jennie (named after the term for a 500-millilitre wine bottle) will home in on international wines by the bottle and glass alongside locally made drops (expect about 200 wines on rotation, including a Jennie or two) and a concise beer and cocktail list.
“I reckon it’s probably about 60 per cent international wine and 40 per cent local, but I want to try and hopefully bring something new to people,” says Taddeo.
“Australians make great wine, and we all know [that]. But a lot of people have had all that wine, and, you know, we hope people are happy to put their trust in us to make informed decisions and you take them on a journey.”
For food, there’ll be some charcuterie, anchovies and terrines, but that’s about it – for now.
“I don't think we're reinventing the wheel here, but we just like that European-style wine bar where it's casual, hopefully relaxed, and with attentive service,” says Taddeo.
He and Quick are joined by business partners Matt Holding (Malt & Juniper) and brothers Lachlan and Matt Harrison, who have worked at Alfred's over the years. The owners designed the space themselves – after effectively being left a blank canvas – with inspiration from Perth favourite Wines of While and Melbourne bar The Alps.
It’ll have a feature wall of wine and a long African mahogany table through the centre of the bar, built by Sam Weckert of Tiger Build. There’ll also be art by local designers and artists Alex Bellas and Jess Purcell.
Jennie will open at 7 Peel Street, Adelaide in September.