The Olivia Hotel is a Hutt Street newbie. Grungy yet romantic, the venue is more small bar than pub, with co-owners Simon Schumann and Jack Wilkes determined to open a drinking destination away from Adelaide’s East End.
“We love Adelaide, and essentially the idea is delivering a new local haunt,” says Simon.
The two have spent years working in the fine dining scene, and The Olivia Hotel is a step out on their own.
“It’s grungy and rough around the edges but has a bit of beauty and celebratory romance about it,” he says, going on to describe the vibe of the venue as “pretty relaxed.”
The Olivia Hotel opened last December. It sits where Good Life Modern Organic Pizza once was. Before Good Life, Cheong Liew’s game-changing Neddy’s called the space home, a history Simon doesn’t take lightly.
Simon’s passion about the space is evident, and the experience has been undoubtedly hands-on. He and Jack managed the fit out of the venue themselves, painting, tiling, installing doors, and decking out the interior with items sourced from local op shops.
“It has a lovely, old, sort of Parisian feel, juxtaposed by graffiti and that grungy, copper element,” says Simon.
The name is inspired by Olivia from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, a further nod to Simon and Jack’s desire to make this haunt a romantic one.
The references continue as Simon describes entering The Olivia Hotel.
“Coming through the door is like walking through some sort of C.S Lewis wardrobe to Narnia situation,” he says.
The door leads to a rolling lounge, and an archway leads to the bar. The venue also has a paved brick courtyard featuring a 100-year-old vine, and an upstairs beer garden.
As far as food goes, Simon says he and Jack are currently experimenting with making their own jerky as a “beer snack.” The bread is thanks to SheOak Baker, and the French cheese selection is from the Adelaide Central Market. Other snacks include house made Aperol jam and house pickles.
The beverage selection is based on Simon’s desire to work with good, local, ethical producers, and the spirit situation is best described by the two as, “mixing whatever we are feeling like tonight.”
Our hot tip – order the sparkling, because it’s served in a Marie Antoinette glass.
Opening hours are Tuesday to Thursday 3pm –12am, Friday and Saturday 3pm –1am.
Find The Olivia Hotel at 170 Hutt Street.
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