From the creative minds of Adam Robinson (the co-founder and executive chef of Lockwood General) and Jess and Darren Packer (owners of Natures Providore, Nature’s Living, and Nettle & Knead), comes Willy’s Wine Shop – the next hot wine bar coming to King William Road.
Willy’s Wine Shop, set in open this June, will occupy the vacant shop, formerly home to Plant B Life.
Adam, a Hyde Park local who only recently opened Burnside café Lockwood General 12 months ago, plans to open a decadent wine bar that’s welcoming to both your mums and your mates.
“As a Hyde Park local, I’ve always wanted a venture on King William Road,” said Adam.
“Jess and Darren approached me to do a café project together. And while I’m proud of what I’ve achieved at Lockwood and what they have achieved with their successful businesses, I didn’t want another café. So I floated the idea I was working on for Willy’s and as big wine lovers themselves they wanted to collaborate. It all transpired pretty organically from there.”
“Adelaide is having a resurgence of suburb borrows. If you go to Melbourne, there might be 2-3 wine bars in your suburb. The frustrating thing for me is that [on King William Road] you can only go to restaurants or the pub. And you don’t want to be holding a table when you just want a glass of wine.
“I just wanted to create somewhere where I could go for a couple glasses of wine or grab a bottle close to home. Because there was none around, I did it myself.”
A small plates menu will be curated to pair with the wide selection of wines. Think cheese, bread, cured fish… anything that pairs well with a good glass of red.
“I’ll be serving a wide selection of cheese, so it’ll have a European vibe. We’ll have fresh bread from local bakeries, so you can snap off some fresh bread and nibble with your wine,” said Adam.
But when asked about food, Adam said the wine will be the show-stealer in this venture, not the food.
“I’m not here to fill that hole in the market. I see [Willy’s Wine Shop] as a meeting place before going out for dinner, or for wine after your meal.
Rather than being exclusively SA-brands, Adam said he’s aiming for a wine list that is more “eclectic” and has a worldly feel.
“The wine list vibe is very eclectic and intergenerational… I want balance,” said Adam.
“I’m looking at stocking a Slovenian wine label right now called Heaps Good Wine Co. It’s actually owned by a Kiwi and I just loved that it was named after the popular Aussie saying.”
The biggest difference to Adam’s new wine bar is that Willy’s is a place for wine lovers, not wine experts.
“Some people feel alienated [when walking into a wine bar] because their knowledge [of wines] might not be as extensive as the owners. But we want to make people feel welcome and relaxed here,” said Adam.
“I don’t even know everything about wine, so I don’t want people to feel like there’s a level of pretentiousness here.
“We’re serious about what we’re doing, but we’re an inclusive space.”
A final thing to note is the interiors. Adam has been working with Studio Maja to create a beautiful atmosphere to host the stunning food and wine inside.
“You don’t sell the steak; you sell the sizzle! So, I want the space to be beautiful. It will be a vibe. There is going to be outdoor seating under a beautiful jacaranda tree – 30 seats! There’s also going to be bifold windows to create that great indoor-outdoor feel.
“We’re still in a pandemic and COVID weary. Having an outdoor space is a positive. Also, I just love being outdoors, and I wanted this space to feel like an extension of my home.
On weekends, Adam also intends for there to be mellow DJ acts and a rotation of live acoustic performances – just to add a cherry on top of this fabulous upcoming venue.
For updates, keep an eye on the Willy’s Wine Shop Instagram.
Willy’s Wine Shop will be located 1/96 King William Road, Goodwood SA 5034.