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What is Adelaide's Best Business in a Church?

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by Natasha Stewart (subscribe)
Food and words.
Published October 2nd 2012
Adelaide is the City of Churches, but while some cringe at this tagline, it's not just Sunday sermons happening inside these historical buildings. With a plethora of churches in and around Adelaide, it's no wonder that some of these house things you really wouldn't expect. So in honour all those times you've driven past an Adelaide church and been a little bit perplexed by it's current occupants, we're rounding up a list of the Adelaide businesses you'll find inside.

shiraz gallery
The Shiraz Gallery - Goodwood Road

Let us know which ones have caught your eye.

On Goodwood Road an old church seems like the fitting venue for Shiraz Gallery, one of Adelaide's best retailers of hand-woven carpets. Unlike rug stores that sell cheap carpets and operate based on gimmicks like closing down sales, Shiraz Gallery focus on quality. Their carpets are elegant and unique, just like their church setting.

Nearby Toop & Toop's Hyde Park office is a disappointing find. While it's a stunning church, and there's nothing wrong with the rental agency, this church actually used to be a pharmacy. Getting close to topping the list of strange things in churches, the pharmacy even came complete with a neon sign. Safe to say Toop & Toop are a little more subdued.

toop and toop
Toop & Toop - Hyde Park

An interesting find that is still around is Innerware down in Morphett Vale, we're not sure what the clergy think about a church being converted into a lingerie store. Then there's the Blockbuster in Stirling. This is an example of a store that does not use it's space well. The shelves are too high, the pointed ceiling is non-existence; it really fails at capturing the charm of the church.

blockbuster stirling
Blockbuster - Stirling

Also in Stirling is Aptos Cruz. The stylish art gallery and homewares store mixes the old with the new, and makes the most of it's surroundings.

aptos cruz
Aptos Cruz - Hyde Park

Restaurants are right at home in a gorgeous old church. In the city you'll find new Korean restaurant Koba inside a Grote Street Church, and down in Willunga Christina's on High Street is another conversion.

koba korean bbq
Koba Korean BBQ - CBD

Then there are the ones that didn't last. St Paul's Church has passed through different hands, as the home to various Adelaide nightclubs. At the moment it's empty, but another is sure to move in soon. The unfortunate closure of the Mary Martin Bookshop & Cafe in Norwood preceded the closure of their city store too. The Norwood store was inside the interesting Norwood Baptist Church building.

st pauls church adelaide
St Pauls Church
mary martin bookshop norwood
Mary Martin

What other crazy church conversions have you seen? Fill us in on the best use of a church that you've seen in Adelaide, after all, the City of Churches should have some pretty good options.
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Hi Natasha, just a note to say that the Innerware business you have mentioned as being at Lonsdale is actually on Main South Road at Morphett Vale. Used to be my old church, then became a combined beauty salon and clothes shop before the undies arrived! It's actually up for sale at the moment so who knows what we'll see there next!
Elaine Winter
by Brum (score: 1|21) 2866 days ago
I'm surprised that the Bernie Lewis Home Loans office on South Road didn't get a mention. That's one of the first ex-churches that springs to mind when it comes to interesting conversions. There's also another similar old church that has been converted to commercial office space on Port Rd, Hindmarsh.
by tone7 (score: 1|55) 2866 days ago
Bernie Lewis - 200 South Rd Mile End. Mortgage and Wealth Business celebrating 25 years strong. Great internal architecture retained with a new wing added to the existing building about 3 years ago.
by geral (score: 0|5) 2861 days ago
I was going to mention Bernie Lewis too. There's also some kind of financial investment operation in a church building (next to another church), just past Norwood Oval on The Parade. Fascinating stuff.
by curiouser&curiouser (score: 2|526) 2862 days ago

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