“I don’t think there’s many venues in the city with a better view than this,” says Riverland’s venue manager Liam Gibbons.
Gibbons talks to Broadsheet while on the top tier of Riverland, looking out at the picturesque view of the Brisbane River and the Story Bridge. Following the recently reopened, Levantine-influenced venue Babylon – and with Eagle Street Pier closing for construction earlier this year – this section of Eagle Street is clearly becoming the place to see and be seen in Brisbane.
Riverland re-opened on Monday 22 May after a nine-month, $3.5 million renovation. The project involved removing the car park – which was bizarrely positioned in prime location on the riverfront – and expanding the deck. Now the three-tier, 800-square-metre deck has capacity for 1000 people, offering great views no matter where you are positioned.
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“[The redevelopment] was really good for us, but also good for the area,” Gibbons says. “Eagle Street [wasn’t] a destination for a while, with the pier closing, but we’re hoping it becomes a destination again.”
Of the three new bars, the larger two have 16 taps each and a new cocktail menu that includes a spicy watermelon Margarita and the Burst My Bubble (Husk Ink gin, lemon, apple and raspberry). The third smaller bar with a clutch of taps, which was recently added to handle overflow from the other two bars during busy services.
There’s also two new food concepts: The Queenslander and The Traveller. As the name suggests, the former uses local produce, such as mushrooms from Urban Valley and Borrowdale pork with menu items including cured Tin Can Bay cuttlefish with brioche donut and lemon myrtle salt; a tasting plate with charcuterie from Saison Smallgoods; and grilled Queensland swordfish with braised tomato, olives and green beans.
The offering at The Traveller will rotate every three months, starting with Mexican dishes before transitioning to Japanese later in the year. The current menu includes tostadas with cured red emperor, avocado and chilli jam; jalapeno poppers; and a range of soft shell tacos with fillings like battered fish, mixed chilli beans and braised pork.
167 Eagle Street, Brisbane