Brisbane diners let out a collective cry when Crosstown Eating House suddenly closed its doors last October. It was a victim of the woes that engulfed former restaurateur Miles Gillham’s portfolio of eateries, which included Brother Espresso outlets and Yeronga’s The Hyde Out (now Seven South). But six months on, Crosstown is back, and it feels even better than it did before.
Relaunched as Crosstown Public House, the venue is now in the capable hands of Cam O’Brien. He’s no stranger to Woolloongabba’s bustling dining scene; he’s behind Sorellina, and is a co-owner of 1889 Enoteca. O’Brien has fine-tuned the venue’s original concept while respecting the building’s heritage. He wanted to breathe life back into Crosstown and play up its much-loved personality. “I always loved the venue, and like everyone else, I was pretty gutted when it closed down,” he says.
O’Brien admits he’s not reinventing the wheel. Crosstown works best as a local. “We didn’t change it, because it’s a great venue,” he says. “It was already shifting slightly towards more of a pub offering, and we really wanted to embrace that.” It’s an idea that informs Crosstown’s casual, easy-going vibe. A new menu features familiar pub-style offerings – pork schnitzel, market fish and chicken parmigiana ¬– with craft beers from a freshly installed six-tap head. There’s also a new cocktail tap pouring ice-cold Pimms.
But while some things have changed, much remains the same. For O’Brien it was mostly about a lick of paint, some fresh plants and a few new pictures on the wall to freshen up the interior.
Soon, the addition of more picnic tables outside will mean drinks in the winter sun. O’Brien also has plans to open up the previously intimate upstairs bar to create a more inviting space. A brunch menu will launch next week, which will be available Friday to Sunday. Waffles, granola, a breakfast burger (yes, with fries) and the like will go down nicely with a hair-of-the-dog.
Crosstown Public House
23 Logan Road, Woolloongabba (07) 3189 1595
Wed & Thu 12pm–late
Fri to Sun 12pm–late (10am–late beginning next week)