Just outside the city and in the shadow of a towering Gabba stadium, the Logan Road precinct has been flickering to life in fits and starts for almost a decade now. Between the eclectic mix of boutiques, antique stores, sometimes-open eateries and hole-in-the-wall bars, it’s been hard to get a handle on exactly what the precinct offers.
But the dining destination has a new champion in its corner thanks to bistro-bar Electric Avenue, which opens later this week.
Taking over the recently abandoned Crosstown Public House, it’s the second venture for Canvas’s Dan Rodriguez and Bodie Schofield, with the help of two new partners, Canvas venue manager Nick Royds and carpenter Adam Pykett, who has been responsible for much of the fit-out.
“It’s been a crazy journey for the last four years trying to save up and build [Electric Avenue] but we didn’t want to rush it,” Rodriguez says.
After such a long time searching for the perfect spot, it seems serendipitous that the opportunity came up just across the road from Canvas. But it fits the area and Brisbane’s rapidly evolving bar scene. “I wanted to pay tribute to the antique precinct of Woolloongabba of old,” Rodriguez says. “I don’t want to keep getting compared to Sydney and Melbourne. I want people to be like, ‘Brisbane. Yeah, Brisbane’s cool’.”
The venue is ambitious. There’s a 50-seat restaurant, a full front bar and a down-the-rabbit-hole speakeasy out back. But whether you’re in for the long haul or just dropping in, the emphasis is on fun. “It’s all about being happy and bringing your friends down and celebrating. It gets stuck in your head,” Rodriguez laughs when talking about the venue’s name, which references the 1982 Eddy Grant song. “You just want to have a good time when you hear it.”
Serving a creative, bistro-style menu is head chef William Quartel, formerly of Sourced Grocer. Dishes include blackened duck breast and spiced lamb backstrap, but also more straightforward options ordered over the bar, such as Tennessee hot chicken and a burger built on certified Angus beef. Drinks come from a neat menu of five classic cocktails (with added Electric Avenue quirk), 75 wines and a short selection of beer.
Electric Avenue is launching softly this week and will open to the public on Friday. The venue will operate Monday through Saturday; Rodriguez and his partners want to cater to a hospitality crowd in a part of town bereft of decent early-week drinking and dining options.
23 Logan Road, Woolloongabba
Mon to Sat 12pm–12am