A common thread between many people choosing to operate a business here is their love of the area’s character. When talking about its potential, they make comparisons between other dockside redevelopments like Fremantle, Docklands in Melbourne and Salamanca Place in Hobart. But it’s about more than restaurants and waterside dining.
There’s a keenness to preserve the intimate community feel of Port Adelaide, the eclectic and arty vibe of the small businesses, and the anti-establishment spirit that’s always been here. This is, after all, a maritime place – built on the shoulders of swaggering sailors and militant wharfies, as much as it was on those of astute merchants and bold entrepreneurs.
Steph from Red Lime Shack is just one of the people helping to define its modern day flavour. Besides running her café, which is a social, creative and intellectual hub for the locals, Steph is also responsible for the immensely popular Wild At Hart farmers’ market that has drawn in crowds from across Adelaide.
What everyone is hungry for is population growth: an influx of the 20-, 30- and 40-somethings and the young families that are attracted to Semaphore, but not yet aware of the charms of Port Adelaide.
James from Mayfair Bakery and Patisserie sees this happening and sees the potential. “I noticed a lot of change in the demographic that’s coming in. There are a lot of cool buildings, which I think need a bit of love and care. This area just needs a bit of time and people to come down and see the beauty of it.”
Bruce from The British Hotel is also eagerly watching this space; or, to be more specific, the space across from his hotel. “There’s been approval in the last few weeks for Quest apartments on the land opposite.” He views it as a catalyst for the new era. “The moment something major happens in Port Adelaide, it will take off!”