The winds of change are blowing through the west end’s laneways. Solomon Street cafe Fairweather has called last drinks, announcing via Facebook yesterday it will close for good on February 15.
Today, over what might be our last coffee together, owner Simon Heinrich tells Broadsheet that after almost three years, he and chef Bri Mahoney are “just feeling very tired”.
“We definitely don’t have any bitterness or resentment,” he adds. The store was busy enough and constantly broke even, Heinrich tells us, but growth beyond this seemed a long time coming.
“We look back on our time here with great fondness and pride, and feel gratitude for the sharing of our passions and creations with all of you,” reads the Facebook post.
Fairweather was the first business to move into the former carpark on Solomon Street, which now also houses Sunny’s Pizza and Cry Baby. Heinrich thinks being the only daytime business on the strip has been a disadvantage. “Adelaide still favours convenience,” he says, suggesting punters are not yet accustomed (or willing) to take the extra steps and seek out great coffee over mediocre coffee.
He thinks we’re still recovering from an era when baristas were “surly jerks” and effectively turned people off specialty coffee. At Fairweather he aimed to create an environment that excited people about coffee.
“We wanted to be a place that challenged what Adelaide cafes normally do,” Heinrich says. The Satd’y Brunch – a set menu brunch and coffee pairing – was an idea he’d kicked around for six or seven years before putting it out there, and one that was hugely successful.
Heinrich is now looking to study a bachelor of science – which he describes as a “sidestep from coffee”. His approach to brewing has always been precise and by-the-numbers, and he’s looking forward to a new challenge. Mahoney moves on to a new position at Orso, the latest venture from Andre Ursini.
Fairweather will close on February 15. Get there while you can.