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Published December 29th 2016
Calling all Gin lovers - do I have a place for you
Rundle Street has recently had a revamp around its bar scene, with lots of old bars stepping up their game as new ones open every couple of months. But, let's not forget the hidden gems that are craftily situated in the off-streets of this colourful city street.
One such bar is The Howling Owl - a bar dedicated to the fantastic spirit Gin. Cleverly tucked away on the quieter end of Frome Street, this bar is where all Gin lovers can congregate and collectively appreciate their favourite poison in the form of delicious cocktails, designated Gin boards, and simultaneously be surrounded by the purity of art and magic that brings colour to their rustic décor.
With around 30 small batch Gins calling this space their home, The Howling Owl is well-known for stocking SA-based as well as international bottles of this spirit, all of which are welcome to be garnished with spices, fruits and herb that are available by the counter. The space itself possesses a beautiful mix of order and chaos, with local art splattered across the walls and well-aged furniture from the early 1900s that are handcrafted and add a sense of heritage for the customers to enjoy to their heart's desire. A beautiful archway connects the bar to the beloved Urban Cow Studio, where you can purchase local artwork at a decent price.
Open nice and early in the morning to provide city-goers with a much needed strong cup of coffee, the cafe functions as a bar from around midday onwards, showcasing diverse shift in ambience - from a relaxed and casual outing with friends during the day to a more intimate affair as the nightlife kicks in. It's one of those places where you can start off with a mellow vibe and engage in their delicious options of Gin to get the party started.
We tried the Gin Board (option 1), which was shared between 2 people and gave us just enough buzz to savour the beautiful flavours from this versatile spirit. We were offered tastings from the following: 1. KIS O (Kangaroo Island) 2. JINZU (London) 3. TANQUERAY (London)
Each Gin was coupled with a selection of fruit (which is outlined on the sheet accompanying the Gin board) and each combination brought out the tangy flavour from the Gin, which mixed nicely with the citrus and sweet tastes from the slices of fruit.
Taking pride in using locally sourced products, this quaint space also expands further by offering a range of gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options of food and drink. Think about savoury options such as rolls, pies, soups, salads, along with the complementary sweet tastes of cakes and pastries - all made fresh and not only look amazing but also taste divine.
But, wait! The fun doesn't stop there, for behold! There are grazing boards of cheeses from the Limestone Coast, along with dips from the Fleurieu Peninsula, and not to forget the Barossa cured meats with fresh marinated vegetables. Coupled with the right kind of SA-made beers or wine, you're in for a treat!
Having spoken to the manager, we can put those rumours around its closure to rest by confirming that The Howling Owl will simply be relocating to a location not too far from its original spot and is hoping to encapsulate a wider audience through a bigger space. The bar will not be relocating till the Fringe season is over, though, so you can be assured to have a quality place to visit after having your share of fun at the shows and events by the Garden.
More local art along with Gin specials and favourites
The Howling Owl also has happy hour specials from 7pm-8pm 7x days a week, where you can enjoy 2 for 1 Gin of the week, $5 beers, and $20 for 2 cocktails. With great customer service, intoxicating options of drink and mouthwatering nibbles, The Howling Owl is a place to visit on your next night out.