The Howling Owl, Frome Street

Words & photos by Fatema Sitabkhan

If you’re a Gin lover like myself and live in Adelaide, then surely you’ve visited the holy grail that is The Howling Owl.

After visiting the Kangaroo Island Spirits distillery (which is run by the Godfather of South Australian Gin – Jon Lark) and falling in love with the purity of this delicious spirit, one of the first Gin bars in Adelaide – The Howling Owl – came into existence (Hallelujah!).

Situated just off Rundle Street adjacent to The Rhino Room and Urban Cow Studio resides a bar that may be small but possesses a character like no other. While the places are going to be relocating in a couple of months due to the demolition of the buildings nestling them, their chapters are far from over.


I remember stumbling upon The Howling Owl nearly a year ago with a couple of friends and I’m pretty sure that’s where my love for Gin truly blossomed. With an extensive cocktail menu and a tasty Gin board that comes with complementing fruit slices, you can’t help but fall in love with the fun and flavour of Gin.


The space has a rustic charm to it, with furniture that dates back to the early 1900s, carefully handcrafted to represent mosaic patterns, maps of the world, and mismatched wooden chairs and tables that just…work brilliantly with the theme of this bar.

The bar stocks around 30 small batch Gins, most of which are sourced from South Australia, including KIS O (Kangaroo Island) and “guest Gins” such as 23rd Distillery (Renmark) and Prohibition Gin. There are also international brands of Gin that you are able to sniff and taste through their Gin boards – one of which we tried (and thoroughly enjoyed) to our heart’s content. Gin Board 1 (for example) comes with a serve of 4 types of Gin, which coupled with the right types of fruit is pretty much a sweet, sweet kiss on the lips:
1. KIS O (Kangaroo Island)
2. JINZU (London)
3. TANQUERAY (London)
4. ROGUE SOCIETY (New Zealand)


So, personally, I think Gin is simply a refreshing and perfect drink to enjoy with tonic or squash mixed into the concoction. But, did you know that there is a variety of condiments such as spices, fruits, or herbs that you can add on top of your drink as a garnish? If there is a heaven out there, this is what I’d dream it to be like!


The menu here doesn’t just stop at Gin-based goodness. There’s also savoury options of rolls, pasties, and soups, as well as sweet options such as cakes and pastries – all made from locally sourced products. With a range of gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options, there’s something for everyone.

The space at The Howling Owl is unique (unlike other bars) in that art is displayed on the walls, which are all made by local artists as well. What’s better is that Urban Cow Studio gives you the opportunity to further support local artists by being able to purchase their masterpieces (#SupportLocal).


Given their opening hours, they can easily transform from a fast-paced cafe serving double shot coffees to sleepy visitors/workers at 9am to a full-fledged bar showcasing the vibrant nightlife at 9pm. No matter what time of the day/night, and no matter what the mood, no matter what the weather – customers can be guaranteed to enjoy a casual, intimate, socializing space (all at once) in this cute, little bar.

Happy hour is from 7pm-8pm, where you can enjoy 2 for 1 Gin of the week, $5 beers, and $20 for 2 (selected) cocktails. Whether you’re looking for a chilled afternoon with some friends or are hitting the town in full force around twilight, The Howling Owl will have you sorted with their unique and exquisite selection of Gin to get the party started!


The Howling Owl
Address: 13 Frome Street, Adelaide SA 5000
Opening hours:
Mon-Tue         830am-8pm
Wed-Thurs     830am-11pm
Fri                      830am-2am
Sat                     12pm-2am
Sun                    Private functions only
Social media: Facebook, TwitterInstagram

The Howling Owl Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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