Heading out for a couple of drinks has never been more attractive. Whether your taste strays more to sophisticated spirits or the power combo of beer and pinball, these are the places pulling crowds after dark so far in 2017.
Proud Henry Wine Bar & Ginoteca
Named after the antique taxidermy peacock spectacularly displayed above the bar, Proud Henry is the fresh face of wine bar Grape Therapy. With the change in name and attitude has come a switch in focus from wine to gin, with almost 100 varieties available.
The menu lists bottles from Australia and abroad alongside a specific Fever Tree tonic and garnish to match. Cheese and charcuterie boards are available, and Tara Thai across the road is happy to deliver. They also offer live music on Fridays, and are planning monthly events for gin enthusiasts to learn more about the spirit of the moment.
While a rotation of excellent restaurants, cafes and boutiques have slowly filled the Woolloongabba streets formerly dominated by antique stores, Electric Avenue has finally provided an all-rounder in which to eat, drink and boogie.
The space is filled with collectibles and antiques; a nod to the area’s history. A 50-seat bistro sits on one side with a refined menu designed by chef Will Quartel, formerly of Sourced Grocer. On the other side, the bar opens up completely to offer five classic cocktails with simple quirky twists, plus a list of 75 wines.
Inspired by its owners’ duel loves of competitive pinball and beer, Netherworld took the place of Fortitude Valley’s The Underdog early this year. And it’s been consistently packed ever since. Split into 3 sections, the venue features a retro green-tiled bar lined with 14 taps of craft beer, arcade machines lining exposed brick walls out the back, and a street-art decorated diner.
While the dozens of arcade and pinball machines, classic consoles and board games certainly draw a crowd, the food sets Netherworld apart; classic American diner-style food with a Japanese twist, and all completely vegan (with optional non-vegan extras).
Savile Row has been a long time coming. The Ann St bar has been under construction for more than 18 months, with two clothing store shop fronts being turned into one large bar. Hidden behind a bright orange door, the space is a combination of wallpaper, brick and art-detailed walls – though likely the first thing you’ll notice is the back bar of 750 spirits (with more to come). Set apart from the rest of The Valley by its detailed sophistication, Savile row is catering to a slightly older, more relaxed crowd than the clubs that surround it.
La Lune Wine Co
Seven years after Paul McGivern first dreamed of opening his own wine bar after visiting Burgundy in 2010, La Lune Wine Co. has brought moody old-world style to Fish Lane. The 42-seat venue features wooden tables and chairs, a long black booth and a mixture of timber and tile flooring. Take a seat at the marble bar at the edge of the open kitchen and you can have a good chat to the chefs. The deftly curated menu is separated into charcuterie, raw, cheese and hot sections, ably partnered by the 120-strong wine list.
On The Side On the Side, from the minds behind Malt Dining, Newstead’s Malt Pier and the Malt Traders bottle shops, offers the best of both day and night time fare. In a refurbished corner block on Sandgate Road, formerly home to Xavi’s Espresso, the cosy 35-seater’s darkened interior and bi-fold windows relaxed vibe is reflected in the menu. By day, the place brews coffee from Melbourne roaster Locale paired with a simple breakfast menu, house made savoury tarts, and sweets from Ascot’s Vanilla Pod. At night it’s time for evening grazing with drinks and a bar menu of charcuterie and other staples.
Newstead Brewing Milton
Directly across the road from Suncorp Stadium on Castlemaine Street, Newstead Brewing Co.’s second venue features indoor pub seating, a main bar, terrace, beer production area, function room and a licensed carpark to accommodate for spillover at busy times.
The industrial interior will be familiar to regulars of the original Newstead joint, with plenty of concrete, timber and brick. Though the menu at this venue is slightly more upmarket, and it’s about ten times the size of the original, the team’s focus has not strayed from their core craft beer expertise - 32 taps flow across three bars.
Suburban Social The premise behind Chapel Hill’s Suburban Social Neighbourhood Bar and Kitchen is simple: good food, beer and staff that remembers your name. And they make it look easy, with a relaxed vibe and commitment to Australian producers that you can feel especially good about. Even the fit-out makes nods to sustainability, made from recycled structural timber and other materials from the space’s previous incarnation as a home brew store. Kick back in with an Australian wine or beer and tuck into well-executed gastropub fare: burgers; flathead fish tacos; and the tongue-in-cheek Suburban Snack Pack that replaces doner-kebab meat with slow-cooked chicken.
Slip through the trees to find craft beer and modern pub food.