On a typical mid-July Tuesday afternoon, Adelaide's winter showcased its harshest side, urging my son and I to look for refuge. Our sanctuary presented itself in an unassuming gem hidden away in Adelaide's Central Business District: Tattersall, more commonly known as Harry's Bar on Grenfell Street. Venturing through a diminutive doorway and spiralling up the stairs, we found ourselves in a room teeming with history. As we nestled into the inviting Chesterfield couches, our surroundings buzzed with the silent narratives of historical images. We treated ourselves to a heartwarming platter of nachos and savoured sips from a glass of Mother's milk, finding comfort within these walls.
(Image Credit: Tarnia Riggs, Harry's Bar at Tattersalls)
Journey through Time: Harry's Bar as Adelaide's Heritage
Harry's Bar on Grenfell serves as a magnificent testament to Adelaide's history. Walking through its doors transports you back in time, its elegance and sophistication a nod to an era where craftsmanship reigned supreme. Yet, this establishment isn't just a nostalgic retreat; it expertly merges the charm of a heritage-listed building with a contemporary city style, creating a captivating atmosphere that is hard to resist.
(Image Credit: Tarnia Riggs, Historical Images and Nachos at Tattersalls Harry's Bar)
(Image Credit: Tarnia Riggs, Tarnia Riggs, Cheese and Wine Store at Tattersalls Harry's Bar)
Culinary Pleasures and Shared Narratives
Harry's Bar promises a gastronomic adventure with its wide-ranging all-day dining menu. Our selection for the day was a scrumptious hearty nacho that perfectly combated the winter chill. Whether you're seeking a light bite, a sumptuous meal, or a choice of dips and cheeses in the Cheese and Wine area, Harry's Bar delivers. Its lofty ceilings, embodying the grandeur of bygone days, and an extensive beverage menu with both local and international varieties, contribute to an impressive dining experience.
(Image Credit: Harry's Bar Website, Tattersalls Harry's Bar Balcony Day and Night)
Gazing over Adelaide: The Skyline Symphony
Despite the biting cold preventing us from venturing out, Tattersall, Harry's Bar on Grenfell boasts an enchanting view of Adelaide's skyline from its balcony. Imagining the sun setting over the city's panorama and the twinkling city lights evokes a sense of calm. It's an ideal spot to unwind, share stories, or simply appreciate the urban landscape.
An Eventful Experience
More than just a place to dine and drink, Harry's Bar doubles as an event-hosting platform. Its blend of historical and contemporary city style offers an inspired backdrop for any social gathering or corporate function. With attentive and dedicated staff managing every detail, guests are left to immerse themselves in the celebration.
Image Credit: City of Adelaide, Street View Tattersalls Club Harry's Bar Historical Image
The two sections of the Tattersalls Club building in Grenfell Street, Adelaide city, matched by architects Garlick and Jackman.)
Preserving History, Embracing Modernity
Through the changing cityscape, Tattersall, Harry's Bar on Grenfell endures as a beacon of charm and elegance. It welcomes history aficionados, art enthusiasts, food lovers, or those seeking a cozy refuge. More than an iconic establishment, Harry's Bar offers an unforgettable experience where history is honoured, and modernity is embraced. No matter who you are, Harry's Bar on Grenfell welcomes you to be part of its ongoing story.
The South Australian Tattersalls Club, a state-heritage-listed building situated on Grenfell Street in Adelaide, stands as a monument to the city's rich architectural history. Constructed in two stages, the first part was built in 1917, followed by an extension in 1928. The renowned architects Garlick and Jackman supervised both constructions, ensuring a seamless blend of heavy detailing that adorns the building's facades. The club was originally founded as a gentlemen's club in the late 19th century, with its establishment facilitated by a group of 55 members, including distinguished figures such as E.M. Bagot, C.J. Coales, J. Richardson, and W.K. Simms. William Blackler, a notable horse breeder, spearheaded the initiative, basing it on the model of the famous London Tattersalls Club.
Since its establishment, the building has witnessed an array of transformations, including expansions and refurbishments, while maintaining its core function as a gathering place for hunting, racing, and coursing enthusiasts. It also served as a platform for exposing turf frauds and settling disputes in the racing industry.
The interior design of the Tattersalls Club features a captivating central light well that casts an enchanting glow onto the stained-glass lantern suspended above the dining room, thereby encapsulating the artistic splendour of the period. Despite facing several challenges such as restrictive betting laws in the 1880s that led to a temporary closure and the Great Depression that saw a significant drop in membership, the club managed to navigate these hurdles and has remained a significant part of Adelaide's social fabric.
In 1977, in a bid to curb ongoing financial losses, the club sold the building while retaining a leaseback agreement. The building also underwent major reinforcement works on its balcony in 2016, partly funded by the Adelaide City Council’s heritage incentive scheme. From its humble beginnings to its enduring status as a city landmark, the South Australian Tattersalls Club building, which now hosts Harry's Bar, continues to attract visitors with its historical charm and distinctive architectural features. Its journey encapsulates the transformative chapters of Adelaide's architectural history, leaving an indelible mark on the city's skyline.
My son and I relished our afternoon at Tattersalls, Harry's Bar on Grenfell. Despite the wintery conditions outside, we found warmth and comfort within its walls, surrounded by a sense of history and vibrant city energy. It wasn't just an afternoon reprieve from the cold; it was a journey into Adelaide's rich heritage, an exploration of its culinary scene, and a shared experience that we will cherish. These esteemed institutions serve as living reminders that in a rapidly changing world, the allure of tradition, elegance, and history remains as captivating as ever. So, the next time you embark on a journey through the bustling city streets, remember to raise a glass to the timeless charm of Harry's Bar and the magnificent world of The Historic Tattersalls.
The Historic Tattersalls Bar and Balcony, Harrys Bar
Level 1, 12-14 Grenfell St
Adelaide SA 5000