Attention anyone who grew up in suburban Brisbane when a dining experience was the local Sizzler or Coffee Club: things have changed. Neighbourhood has now joined Kenmore favourites The Single Guys, Sichuan Bang Bang and Pizzeria Violetta (as well as plenty of other operators elsewhere in Brisbane) in illustrating restaurateurs see the benefits of getting out of town.
Neighbourhood owner Jordan Lomas says the decision to open in the suburbs was easy. “The rent in the city is crazy. The ’burbs just makes sense. You have longevity because there isn’t another restaurant opening next to you every month.”
Neighbourhood is comfortable, inviting and unpretentious. Lomas and architect Kirsty Hetherington wanted customers to feel immediately at home. “We wanted it to be like a big pizza party – and create a cool ‘chef’s-night-out’ vibe every night,” he says.
The menu is currently quite small; a few favourites done very well (think a traditional margherita or sopressa. Or prosciutto, red onion and artichoke), but that will slowly change. “Over the next few weeks we’ll be adding more bar snacks and different pizzas,” Lomas says. “We’ll keep mixing it up.”
The wine list is carefully chosen and keenly priced and consists of small Australian producers. The beer list is anchored by the Neighbourhood Pale Ale, brewed in-house and designed to complement the pizza. “It’s light and not very bitter, so it cuts through the grease,” Lomas says.
Finally, there’s the atmosphere: woodgrain, white walls and moody lighting with a soundtrack based on the in-house record collection. “We bring in a crate [of vinyl] every week,” Lomas says. “We’re getting some DJs in to do funk and hip-hop sets on the weekends soon.”