Published: July 24, 2018

More than 19,000 public votes came flooding in. Now, Adelaide’s best businesses have been crowned the top of their game at this year’s The City Awards.

Backed by Adelaide City Council and EPay, Messenger Community News editor-in-chief Nadja Fleet said the awards aim to shine a spotlight on the businesses that make the city and North Adelaide tick.

“Small businesses are vital,” she said.

“They cut our hair. They dress us and they feed our friends and families. But they also help advance this city by constantly coming up with new ideas, new products and new services.

“Small businesses are certainly one of the reasons why people flood to the heart of this city.”

The winners across 16 categories — from best coffee spot to best green business — were announced tonight at a cocktail function held at Keith Murdoch House, home to The City Messenger and The Advertiser.

Lord Mayor Martin Haese said this year’s finalists and winners were “fantastic role models” for Adelaide.

“The quality of the finalists and winners show the tremendous variety of the businesses in our city,” he said.

“This year’s The City Awards has seen great participation and voting numbers, which further proves our retail and hospitality businesses’ strong passion for customer service.”

Here are the 2018 award winners:


The Gallery, 30 Waymouth St, city

Whether you’re after a classic cocktail, glass of bubbly or a warm, winter red, this rooftop bar always has your back. For those who are feeling rather peckish after work, its extensive, yet affordable menu will have you hanging around for more with dishes like sliders, zucchini and pumpkin fritters, chorizo and chicken boulette and szechuan squid. The Gallery is also fitted out with heaters so you’ll feel on top of the world, without the winter chill.


Osteria Oggi, 76 Pirie St, city

You know you are dining somewhere special as soon as you step foot into Pirie St’s Osteria Oggi — a restaurant that celebrates all things Italian. Its cleverly designed fit-out features a light-filled indoor piazza with communal tables, intimate booths for group bookings, a mezzanine kitchen where you can see the chefs in action, plus a private cellar where diners can sit around a marble table, surrounded by Oggi’s cellared wines. A 20 metre concrete bar runs the length of the room and is a great spot to sit and graze on share plates, or simply enjoy a pre-dinner drink. The menu ranges from freshly made pasta and gnocchi to wood-smoked, slow-roasted meats and fish.


Jamaica Blue, upper ground level, Myer Centre, 14-38 Rundle Mall, city

This cosy, casual eatery offers a diverse range of dishes, freshly made using quality, local produce. With a la carte and ready-to-go options like salads and wraps, plus breakfast, sweet treats and snacks, this city cafe is the perfect option when you’re after a quick and easy meal without the fuss.


Penny University, 1/7 Union St, city

Owner Foti Likouras must be commended for the consistent coffee that comes out of Union St cafe Penny University. Since opening its doors in 2014, the breakfast and lunch hot spot has become a regular haunt for East End punters. The ever-changing menu features dishes such as stuffed capsicums, pumpkin smash with house baba ganoush and poached cinnamon pear porridge — a nod to Foti and his team’s creativity when it comes to the kitchen.


Bank Street Social, 48 Hindley St, city

For a night on the town, wander down the stairs of this mysterious, underground bar in the city’s West End. You’ll be met by smooth tunes, great South Australian beer and wine, plus premium gin and whisky sourced from across the globe. What’s even better (for the foodies) is that Bank Street Social also features a pizza bar where you can sink your teeth into all your favourite flavours including margherita and Barossa pepperoni topped with fresh chilli, parmesan, tomato and mozzarella. On weekends the dance floor is packed thanks to DJs spinning house, disco and party jams until late.


Have You Met Charlie?, shop 25, Regent Arcade, Rundle Mall, city

What started as a Renew Adelaide project is now a fully fledged gift store selling everything from cards and art to jewellery and candles. Most items are handmade by independent artists and makers in support of other small businesses across the globe. A wide range of gift ideas, paired with excellent customer service is what ticks all the boxes when it comes to a great shopping experience at Have You Met Charlie?


Slick Lobster, shop 141, Adelaide Arcade, Rundle Mall, city

It may sound like a Chinese restaurant, but this barber promises slick cuts to every hairy crustacean who walks through the door. The guys behind the scissors are friendly and always up for a laugh — just don’t make them chuckle too much mid-cut. Whether you’re after a trim, cut or shave, you can find the barbers doing what they do best on Adelaide Arcade’s upper level with balcony views. The team also has a podcast where they chat with guests in hospitality, government, sports, music, arts and media industries.


Smelly Cheese, stall 44, Adelaide Central Market, Grote St, city

Hundreds of cheeses line the shelves at this Adelaide Central Market stall, from locally made to the best in French, Italian, Irish, Swiss and US produce. Owners Valerie Henbest and Peter Heaney travel far and wide to source this gooey goodness, allowing Adelaide’s cheese-a-holics to prepare the ultimate grazing tables and platters at home.


The David Roche Foundation, 241 Melbourne St, North Adelaide

Established in 1999, The David Roche Foundation features an exceptional collection of antiques, paintings and objects accumulated by the late David J Roche AM over his lifetime. He was acknowledged both in Australia and abroad as a renowned collector, and now visitors can wander around the Melbourne St gallery and marvel at more than 3000 pieces. From European clocks and porcelain to 18th and 19th century paintings, Mr Roche collected it all.


Clarity Massage and Wellness, 58-60 Melbourne St, North Adelaide

Feeling tired, stressed, in pain or in need of nurturing? The professionals at Clarity Massage and Wellness will make you feel alive again with their range of services including remedial massages, facials, acupuncture and yoga classes. There are also in-house naturopaths who can guide you to achieve a healthier lifestyle.


Grundy’s Shoes, 186A Rundle St, city

Family-owned Grundy’s has stood the test of time, having opened on Rundle St150 years ago. It is the longest continuous retailer on the food and shopping strip and provides everything from flats and heels to lace ups, ugg boots and orthotic-friendly shoes. Popular brands include Birkenstock, Frankie4, Ecco, Keen, Naot, Klouds and Rieker, which are available in store or online.

In addition to 12 standard categories, the 2018 awards saw the introduction of four Business Excellence categories, judged by members of Adelaide City Council.

Here is what council’s future retail adviser, Rhys Moult, had to say about the winners.


Shoal Engineering, 309 Angas St, city

“Shoal Engineering is an exceptional born and bred SA company which now has a national presence. The business has an inclusive approach to fostering and sharing industry knowledge and has developed a unique team which can help define and deliver large scale projects with high levels of complexity.”


Duke of Brunswick Hotel, 207 Gilbert St, city

“The Duke of Brunswick Hotel has been transformed into an authentic, friendly and creative community hub catering for all walks of life, including dogs. Owner Simone Douglas’s understated passion to drive positive community outcomes is impressive.”


Next Faze, 28 O’Connell St, North Adelaide

“Next Faze is a great example of digital creative businesses that see the sexiness in data. Apps and websites can be beautiful and have amazing user experiences, but only when your team is passionate about the code and the data that drives the applications.”


Electra House, 131 King William St, city

“A holistically environmentally focused business which understands that being green is not just good for the environment — it’s also good for the bottom line. They have established a strong environmental culture with their staff and have implemented key initiatives to reduce waste, reduce electricity consumption and foster a green culture with the patrons they serve.”

Article by Stephanie Timotheou originally appeared in The Advertiser on 23 July 2018.