New to Franklin Street, Public is already becoming a popular spot for the lunchtime business crowd. Franklin Street isn't necessarily Adelaide's most popular CBD street, but it's still near enough to Rundle Mall, Waymouth Street, and the Central Market.
The glass walled cafe might not give patrons much privacy, but it lets plenty of natural light into the cafe and along with the high ceilings Public has a very open and airy feel. Peering through the windows from outside you can also check out the decor, but it's best appreciated inside.
They say the inspiration came from "public spaces, such as old railway stations & grand libraries", but wherever it's from, it works. The wall of the bar area is splattered with the names of famous literary folk like Hemingway, Austen, Tolkien, and Descartes. There long bar seating that stretches around one of the windows, and in the cafe area you can grab a proper table.
The menu comes thanks to young Adelaide chef Stewart Wesson. He was voted Electrolux Australia's young chef of the year for 2012, and has participated in many culinary competitions. To sample the most of the menu in one go you'd want a long lunch. It's set up with starters, entrees, and mains. There are also burgers and pasta dishes available.
It's definitely worth dining in on the kitchen menu rather than just grabbing an on-the-go lunch. The food is still fairly simple but carefully constructed, so that all the different elements are given their chance to shine on the plate. At $26-$30 for mains, they don't come cheap, so unless you're dining on the company card Public may become a sometimes place.
There's a breakfast menu as well, and it's important to note that all of their pastries are made in house by their pastry chef. It's not groundbreaking, but there are some nice personal touches like the salted caramel with the French toast or the wild mushroom omelette with goats curd and tomato caramel.
Their drinks menu would really benefit from some freshly squeezed juices, but most people probably go down the caffeine route. There are smoothies or the interesting gelato nectar. There's a wine list, and various specialty cocktails, that can go well with lunch or be enjoyed on a Friday night when the bar stays open from 5pm till late.