Whether for after-work drinks, a date night or socialising with friends, these are the new Brisbane bars to tick off your list.
King Tea owes its name to the snack bar that stood opposite Paddington Central back when the shopping centre was the site of a tram depot. Now drinks and tapas, not tea, are on the menu. By the same team behind Hai-Hai Ramen and Remy’s, the building’s wooden rafters and pared-back finishings give it a social drinking-hall feel. Booze revolves around a Spanish-heavy wine list, beers and cocktails, with the accompanying share plates emulating southern Spain’s tapas tradition. On Friday afternoons the venue provides free snacks for “tapas hour” from 4pm to 6pm.
Scout owners Susannah Whitehouse and Candy Smith took over this Petrie Terrace bolthole – formerly the grungy Hops, Scotch and Beans – earlier this year, knocking down a wall, hoisting a bright neon sign and painting the walls white to create Jessie’s Girl. Now a light and slightly camp drinking den, Whitehouse works the bar, slinging Espresso Martinis, Carrotinis (carrot martini) and a spritz menu that includes The Britz, The Ritz, The Titz and The Shizz. A concise wine selection includes five reds, five whites, a rosé, a champagne and a prosecco. A dinner menu revolves around a range of tapas and share plates.
It took Martin Lange, Trent Goodwin and Kahn Millis 18 months to complete Savile Row, a classy new cocktail bar right in the heart of the Valley. Hidden behind a bright orange door on Ann Street, the space is a combination of wallpaper, brick and art-detailed walls. Most prominent is a back bar of 750 spirits, spotlighted by a large overhanging chandelier. Upstairs, there are tables, chairs and booths, with drinkers looking down on the bartenders at work. The booze focuses on spirits, with hundreds of whiskies, 50 gins, 50 rums and 20 tequilas. There are also 20 cocktails (with matching illustrations), a few beers on tap, 15 white wines and 15 reds.
The stuffed peacock that now sits above the bar signifies moody wine bar Grape Therapy’s transformation into fresh and fun Proud Henry. The drinks list kicked off with 100 gins, with venue manager Carmen Hartwich since adding more each week, while wine has been shortened to just 12 by the glass and a few more by the bottle. Cheese and charcuterie boards are the only food on offer, but Tara Thai from across the road happily delivers to guests in the 12-seat dining room. On Friday nights expect live music and keep an eye out for the monthly Gin Junkies event – it’s an opportunity to learn even more about the spirit of the moment.
While sipping on rosé and snacking on fresh oysters, enjoying some eye-popping views, make sure you take a moment to appreciate how comfortable Bar OTTO is. Because it took a lot of work to get here. Initially stifled by a consistent crosswind that blew through its fourth-floor atrium, the bar took 12 months longer to open than initially planned. But all that work has paid off handsomely. Bar OTTO delivers what OTTO Ristorante does best – upmarket Italian food and drinks – but takes all the pressure off. The wines are all Italian or local drops inspired by the peninsula, the bar snacks an efficient menu of cured meats and antipasto. There’s probably no better place in town for after-work drinks.