Walk along Stanley Street, past the costume store and Bengal Kitchen and the Morrison Hotel and you’ll see it. High on the heritage-listed Shop Row building, a neon sign blinks in the dark: “Rooftop bar”.

Really? Up there?

This is Ooh La La, a new post-work and post-dinner open-air hideout from C’est Bon owners Andy Ashby, and Steven and Jane Wilson. It’s a place of appellation oysters and rosé during the day; and duck liver parfait eclairs eased down by bottles (magnums, if you like) of vintage champagne once the sun goes down and the festoon lights take over.

The JDA Co-designed Ooh La La is not much more than a poky timber deck completely open to the elements atop C’est Bon, set back from the Shop Row facade with all-weather furniture and a handsome craned-in container bar. But anything calling itself a rooftop bar really comes down to the location, and Ooh La La boasts views unlike anywhere else in Brisbane. To the west, Stanley Street’s rundown heritage transforms into the enormous Mater and Queensland Children’s Hospital complexes. In the east is the Morrison Hotel and then the freeway and then the lights of the Gabba. Swinging around towards the north, there’s the white stucco Holy Trinity Anglican church high on the hill and then the Princess Theatre, which is currently being converted back into a live music venue. It’s a precinct in the midst of an almighty renaissance and Ooh La La lands you right in the thick of it.

“It’s such a unique space and offering where we can have our our diners come in and have a drink on the rooftop before they come downstairs to enjoy a nice cozy welcoming environment in C’est Bon, or vice versa,” Ashby says. “You can come for DJs and cocktails on the rooftop at sunset, then come down for your seating, or vice versa.”

If you want to stay put, there’s chef Ashby’s snazzy food menu and an easy-breezy drinks list. You might eat twice-baked soufflé with artichoke, truffle and fromage; barbequed kingfish with sorrel, buttermilk and cafe de Paris butter; and an Angus tartare with tomato, cured yolk and tendon. There are also caviar, bread, fromage and charcuterie selections, and a platter that throws together oysters, local spanner crab, nduja buttered prawns, kingfish and blini caviar sets.

Drinks mix French, small-producer Australian and Queensland wines with a clutch of signature cocktails – there’s the Saint-Germain-des-Prés that throws together gin, cucumber and elderflower, and a Tasmanian Pinot Negroni, which has Forty Spotted pinot noir gin mixed with Campari and vermouth. C’est Bon’s not insignificant cellar list, which runs to 300 bottles, is available if you really want to shoot for the stars (there’s no ceiling, so go for it).

“There’s so much happening around here,” Ashby says. “This area had almost been forgotten about. Really encapsulating it will be the launch of Princess Theatre. It’s going to be mind-blowing. It will be a perfect fit for this area. You might come have dinner at C’est Bon, go see a show, and then if you want to finish off, that’s where Ooh La La comes into the picture.

“It’s already getting traction,” Ashby says. “We have people coming in, asking if we have a rooftop bar: ‘Where?!’ It’s urban. It’s different. It’s unique … It’s been an eye opener for people to understand that we’re not just a restaurant – we’re a multipurpose venue that can deliver unique experiences.”

Ooh La La
609/611 Stanley Street, Woolloongabba
(07) 3891 2008

Hours:
Fri to Sun 3pm–Late

cestbon.com.au
@cestbonrestaurantandlebonbar