When Scout owners Susannah Whitehouse and Candy Smith took over the former premises of Hops, Scotch and Beans they were in for a challenge. How would they turn a dark and grungy cafe into a light and slightly camp bar?

With help from Whitehouse’s dad, Don, they knocked down a wall, hoisted a bright neon sign onto the shop front, painted the walls white and the ceiling apricot. “Aesthetically, [we have changed] almost everything,” Whitehouse says. “Rather than what it used to be, dark and moody, it’s now fresh and light and a bit fun.”

Whitehouse has noticed how many bars in Brisbane have a very masculine feel. For Jessie’s Girl she set out to create something more feminine and camp. The neon sign out the front – a hand grasping a cocktail glass – drives home the message. “It has gone even more that way than we intended,” she says.

Jessie’s Girl has opened for night-time trade and will introduce a “boozy brunch” option in about two weeks’ time. The dinner menu, compiled by Smith, includes a charcuterie board and a range of tapas and share plates, including French onion croquettes, eggplant Sicilian caponata, and Wagyu beef and pork meatballs.

Whitehouse will work in the bar slinging cocktails such as an Espresso Martini (made with ground coffee from Scout), the Northside (its take on a Southside) and a Carrotini (carrot Martini). There’s also 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. When brunch kicks off Whitehouse says they will offer magnums of rosé, imported from France.

Jessie’s Girl
110–112 Petrie Terrace
No Phone

Wed to Mon 4pm–late