The former Woodman’s Inn is easy to find due to its distinctive timber decoration. It is a now rare example of the Queen Anne style popular at the time of Australian Federation in 1901. However, the site's history and the hotel's name date from Adelaide’s earliest years.
The first hotel on this site, called the Woodman’s Inn, was operating in 1839, with John Ragless Jnr as its licensee. It was the first stop for tiersmen and teamsters carting timber from the Tiers (as the Adelaide Hills were known then). Nearby, on Town Acre 31 where the Botanic Hotel now stands, there was a very large timber yard. Much of the timber from the Tiers was probably sold there.
The timber trade soon died out, but the Woodman continued until developments nearby prompted several makeovers. In 1900, when Adelaide’s first power station was built further down Grenfell Street (now the site of the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute), the hotel’s name became the Electric Light.
Soon after, in 1906, the present hotel was built for the South Australian Brewing Company. The wholesale fruit and produce markets were opening across the street, and the company wanted to tap the market trade. The hotel then became known as the Producers Hotel/Inn.
For 80 years it served the traders from the Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange. Imagine the scene as they made their way into the hotel after a busy morning’s trade that had started before dawn.
The markets moved out of the city in 1986. After that, the hotel was also briefly known as the East End Exchange Hotel, but later it reverted to its original title, the Woodman’s Inn. It is now the Producers Bar.
The building is of brick, with a complex tiled roof. This consists of a main gabled roof from which two ornamental gable and small roof ensembles emerge, at the level of the ridge. These structures then form part of the roof over the balustrade.
Two ornamental Dutch gables back the ornamental roof/gable ensembles. The latter finish above the balustrade as with smaller ornamented gables and barge boards. Fretwork ornamentation on the balcony and verandah area is abundant. This, like the Dutch gables, is regarded as an important feature of the Queen Anne style.
The distinctive timber ornamentation of the balcony includes the rounded Chinese "moon gate" in the middle of the balustrade. Some leadlight work remains in the central part of the balcony.