For more than two decades, Cru Bar & Cellar has been one of Brisbane’s premier wine destinations. The wine bar and bottle shop has all bases covered, from finding a standout bottle for a dinner party to treating an out-of-town guest to a great glass of wine.

Since February, the venue has been closed for renovations (with the cellar temporarily relocating to a nearby pop-up space). The expansion was prompted by the closure of Spoon Deli next door.

“[The expansion] has been in the works for quite some time,” assistant retail manager Annetta Hunter tells Broadsheet. “When Spoon decided to vacate their lease, we thought if we’re going to do this, now is a good time. We want to create an even more elevated version of Cru.”

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Previously, Cru served snacks, cheese, charcuterie, pasta and steaks. Designed by chef Richard Ousby (ex-Stokehouse Q), it was an impressive menu given the limited kitchen space. While the number of dishes won’t necessarily change, the kitchen’s capacity will increase. There’ll be additional room to cook and new features, such as an oyster shucking station and pasta broiler.

The kitchen will also be transformed into a central “island” where guests can watch the chefs at work. Hunter envisions guests enjoying “beautiful cheese, oysters and a lovely glass of champagne” while seated there. “That will be where you’ll find me on my days off,” she says.

Currently, Cru’s iconic Baccarat crystal chandelier is undergoing refurbishment but will return to its rightful place when restored. While the space will maintain its signature earthy colour palette, it will boast more design features like herringbone tiled floors, additional marble accents and a floor-to-ceiling wine wall. Hunter says the latter is currently being custom-made by Macphee’s, a wine cellar specialist in Melbourne, and will be used to store rare wines and large format bottles.

New wine fridges will also be installed, adding to the venue’s already impressive wine storage capacity.

Cru Bar & Cellar will re-open at 1/22 James Street in late June.