Bar 9 introduced Adelaide to specialty coffee, back when it was barely even a thing, opening a flagship cafe in Parkside and another in the basement of David Jones. Six years on, the brand continues to break ground, launching a cafe and community development program in partnership with the St Vincent de Paul Society.
Proprietor Ian Callahan was approached by David Wark, the CEO of Vinnies in South Australia, about using the Whitmore Square kitchen. The pair previously worked together at charity events, including the CEO Sleepout.
The idea instantly resonated with Callahan. “It’s a means for the organisation to generate extra revenue from a space they only use for about 30 minutes a day,” he says. “We’ll also be training disadvantaged people from the shelter – teaching them front of house, coffee-making, baking and so on. Even business skills.”
In a previous life, the vine-covered building was Iliad, a Greek restaurant, before becoming Vinnies’ dining-room. It’s been redressed by Wholegrain Studio’s Josh McCallum as something recognisably Bar 9: blue walls, timber benches and a work-in-progress vibe. You can eat in or take a seat in the surrounding parkland of Whitmore Square.
Several familiar faces and flavours fronted up for this third Bar 9 store. Former Please Say Please owner Daniel Freer is back on the tools, steering the coffee program with a bunch of fancy new tech to play with. Even the espresso machine from Parkside has found a new home at the square.
Affordable filter coffee is also available, courtesy of a Marco SP9 single-serve brewer. Bar 9 has been talking up (and Snapchatting) the machine wildly over recent weeks. It would have been Adelaide’s first, had the newly opened Whistle & Flute not beaten it to the punch.
Long-serving Bar 9 chef Duane Tilka has added Mediterranean-inspired dishes to the backbone of the menu, in a nod to the building’s history. “We’ll be playing with what’s on offer, depending on what customers want,” Callahan says.
The site is bike-friendly, with racks and pumps provided, proving even this bold new endeavour is not so removed from the Bar 9 of old.
Bar 9 Outreach
34 Whitmore Square, Adelaide
Wed to Sun 7.30am–2pm