Sideways Liquor quietly opened last month in a former chemist on Prospect Road. The bottle shop and bar is owned by Mathew and Monique Pallister, who want to put more fun and less fuss into drinking.

The couple, who live in Prospect and had noticed a lack of venues to just drink in, want to provide an informal venue where customers can roll up in flip-flops and shorts and talk about what they’re drinking in a non-pretentious way. They’d also found it hard to purchase “interesting” product in the suburb, which is bordered by major booze retailers.

“You’ve got Mezi Mazi, you’ve got Anchovy Bandit, we have Sunny’s Shop when Sunny’s Shop comes back up and you’ve got all these amazing restaurants,” Mathew tells Broadsheet. “But there wasn’t too many places to just come and have a drink beforehand or just that opportunity to purchase wine to take to these great restaurants.”

The petite shop is stacked with Aussie-made and owned wines, spirits and beers lining timber shelves, which sit against a muted blue colour scheme. If you want to stay a while, there are wooden benches and a small bar where you can try what you buy (for a corkage fee of $15 for wine).

The Pallisters opened the venue with a general and hotel liquor licence. This means they’re technically the first hotel in history to open along Prospect Road. (Prospect never had a hotel or pub along its main drag because of the council’s historical ties to the Methodist Church and its reluctance for drinking in the suburb.)

“The area is transforming,” says Mathew. “There are a lot of young families coming into the area who are time poor, who possibly can’t get into the city to a wine bar. I want people to enjoy having a drink and not take anything too seriously.”

For 18 years, Mathew worked on the other side of the bar, as a supplier for Bickfords, Pinnacle Drinks and Campari. He admits he went “a bit dark on the industry” but became excited by the emerging range of local Australian producers. He says opening Sideways came at the right time, because “more and more interesting product” was becoming available.

“The thing I was missing in my career was talking to the makers of the product and also the consumer," he says. "What I’m loving about Prospect, the community and everyone coming into the store, is they all want to have a chat and they want to talk about the product and what they are drinking.

“Because of the nature of where we live in SA, everyone knows a winemaker or a distiller and so everyone is into supporting Australian-made products.”

Among the 200-odd wines are drops by locals Worlds Apart, Simon Tolley, Moorak, Charlotte Dalton and more. A red and white wine of the month is available by the glass or bottle (this month it’s pinot gris and sangiovese by Sawyer Wines). Beers include One Drop XPA, Wildflower, Little Bang, Coopers and Pikes Beer Co.

“From a spirits point of view, we’ve got a range of Coffin Bay gins, Red Hen, which are Prospect locals, Happenstance gin as well, but we’ve also got some beautiful whisky from King Lake over in Victoria [and] a whole range of little gins from Melbourne CBD,” Pallister says.

"Everyone is really happy to explore these products from across the country.”

Sideways Liquor
99a Prospect Road, Prospect

Hours:
Sun to Wed 10am–8pm
Thu to Sat 10am–10pm

@sidewaysliquor