Michael Tassis clearly has a thing for the Eagle Street riverfront. Just six months after opening his second restaurant, Massimo, on the water at Riverside Centre, the George’s Paragon owner is welcoming a third into the fold.

Rico Bar and Dining opened last week in the site previously occupied by Aria Brisbane. But unlike its fine-dining predecessor, Tassis’s latest venture has a much more relaxed feel and boasts a winsome new outdoor area.

The menu at Rico is Latin American and Spanish inspired, and all about sharing. Think pintxos, tapas and paella, washed down with jugs of sangria. Rico also has a live marron tank, while the centre of the 200-seat restaurant has been transformed into an oyster and ceviche bar, with a chef busily shucking away during service.

Beyond sangria the bar flips an extensive cocktail list, wines from Argentina, Chile, Spain, France and Australia, and craft and imported beer.

Tassis says that when the opportunity presented itself to open another venue he wanted to create somewhere that was classy but fun. The echoes of Aria can still be spied in the venue’s basic layout and its handsome wooden highlights. Otherwise, it has a completely different feel with comfy, casual furniture decked out in soft pinks, greens and greys. The outdoor bar area seats 70 and is adorned with greenery and handsome green and white umbrellas.

“We wanted to activate the site and open it up, so it flowed out onto the footpath,” Tassis says.

Everything but the banquet menu is available outside and can be ordered at any time from open until close, while the restaurant itself is open for lunch and dinner. Rico also has a private dining room that can seat up to 50 people.

Rico Bar and Dining
Eagle Street Pier, 45 Eagle Street, Brisbane
(07) 3188 1444

Daily 11am–10pm