Six years ago Aidan McGarrity got on the phone to his native Northern Ireland and convinced his mate Mark McKenna to move to Queensland. There was a job and plenty of sun waiting for him. McKenna got on the plane and the pair has been living in Coorparoo ever since.

Now, two years later, they’ve opened Beyond the Pale as a meeting point for locals.

Finding the right spot for the bar and kitchen was harder than they thought. The answer came when McGarrity bought an apartment in the new Coorparoo Square development. “He asked what was going on downstairs and it all stemmed from there,” McKenna says.

McKenna reckons the $252 million Coorparoo Square will give the suburb a much-needed focal point. The spot will be anchored by a new Dendy cinema, Aldi and a string of other retail and dining spots. “It was all scattered before this,” he says.

On offer at Beyond the Pale are 12 beer taps of Queensland favourites, including brews from Burleigh Brewing, Newstead Brewing and Green Beacon. The cocktail list features a bunch of tongue-in-cheek references to Coorparoo, including Steven’s Town, the suburb’s original name, and Forty-One 51, the postcode.

A full menu offers breakfast, lunch and dinner options. A shorter list of snacks (spiced house pickles; popcorn chicken; mac’n’cheese nuggets) and cheese boards is for in-between times.

The friends worked with local designers and builders, Clui Designs and Tonic Projects, to bring their vision to reality. The space features a concrete bar, timber walls and lots of greenery. There’s also a big bi-fold window opening into the surrounding laneway, where guests are welcome to spill out.

McKenna reckons the response from locals has been largely positive. “There’s just been so many people coming in and telling us how good it looks and that the suburb really needed it,” he says. “That’s really positive.”

Beyond the Pale
26 Holdsworth Street, Coorparoo<
0435 365 352

Daily 6am–late