What is there to do after 1am in Brisbane on a weeknight? Only a handful of venues stay open into the early morning. There’s live music space Brooklyn Standard, and whisky and cocktail bars Savile Row and Death & Taxes. But now Alice, by hospitality veteran Pete Hollands, is set to join their ranks.
Hollands, the operator behind award-winning whisky den Frog’s Hollow Saloon, recognised a need for more CBD spots catering to Brisbane’s night owls. He was inspired by interstate venues such as Melbourne dive Heartbreaker, Crybaby in Adelaide, and Sydney’s Duke of Enmore and the now-closed Frankie’s Pizza.
“Brisbane has a lot of fantastic cocktail bars – we’re probably over-indexed in [those] – so I wanted to create a clearer concept outside of what you’re drinking,” Hollands tells Broadsheet. With 100 seats, Alice will be able to accommodate bigger groups than the city’s other late-night joints – and it’ll be “a bit more rough and tumble”.
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The music will be decidedly ’80s with a jukebox courtesy of Peter Greenaway, one of the last jukebox repairers left in Australia. “We’re going to have all the big classic hits of the ’80s that people love. It’s going to be such an integral part of the feel,” Hollands says. “Music is so emotive and so tied to memories.”
Hollands is an avid bourbon drinker, and the shelves at his venues are proof of that. At Alice, bourbon will make up 95 per cent of the backbar. Led by venue manager Michael Pattinson (ex-Suzie Wongs, Brooklyn Standard, The Bowery), the bar will also have eight rotating craft beers on tap, plus an ever-changing menu of eight to 12 simple cocktails – all made to the exacting standards you’d expect from the operator behind Frog’s Hollow Saloon.
Alice will open in the basement at 195 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, in mid-October.