Hugh Dixson established the first tobacco business in New South Wales during the late 1820s. By the 1880s this was the largest house of its kind in Australia, with plantations in New South Wales and Queensland. It was also the largest importer of American leaf and had branches throughout Australia, including the Adelaide branch, established between 1876 and 1878. The Adelaide factory was at Halifax Street from 1878 to 1882, when the Light Square factory was built to the design of Cumming and Davies.
A grandson, Hugh Robert Dixson, became associated with the local business in 1889. He settled in North Adelaide, building the imposing Stalheim House in 1897 (the name was changed to Carclew when the Bonythons bought it in 1908). H.R. Dixson became MP for North Adelaide in 1901. By then he had produced a cigarette especially for South Australian smokers known as Dixsons No. 1 cigarette.
At that time there were six registered tobacco, cigar and cigarette factories in Adelaide. This figure rose to 11 in 1905, but by 1915 there were only two left. In 1904, Marcus Belton of the British and Australian Tobacco Company took over the Dixson factory until about the end of World War I. Several other merchants then used the premises until 1930. From 1930 until 1965, bacon curers George Chapman Ltd owned the premises.
Apart from the addition of a verandah, subsequent remodelling for use to turn the building into Cobbs Restaurant has made no change to the building’s external character. The building has since become Live Nightclub.