A couple of friends open a bar. It’s not an entirely unusual story these days, but Aidan McGarrity and Mark McKenna have travelled further than most to do it. Originally from the Northern Irish town of Cookstown, the two moved to Queensland and worked in supply chains for the mining and quarrying industries. Now, though, they're about to become barkeeps, opening Beyond the Pale in Coorparoo.
“To our knowledge it is the first [dedicated] bar in Coorparoo,” McGarrity says. “There’s an RSL and restaurants [that sell alcohol] but in terms of bars, we’re the first one.”
There are a few other drinking options in the area – most notably Beau Vedelago's bistro-bar Factory 51. But Beyond the Pale promises to be a much more booze-driven affair, packing 12 craft beers on tap in a large timber clad bar space with bi-fold windows and plenty of greenery.
“It’s not your typical pub, it’s a bit classier than that,” McGarrity says. “But at the same time, we’re not too high end where it doesn’t [fit] the suburb.”
The yards of timber and the name reference Ireland in the 14th and 15th centuries, when an eastern section of the country was under English control. The border was marked by stakes in the ground known as the English Pale. To travel outside the boundary was to go “beyond the pale”.
Other than plenty of beer, Beyond the Pale will offer a range of bar snacks and larger plates. Breakfast will also be offered daily, serving coffee from Wynnum’s Dramanti Artisan Roaster.
The bar is part of a new wave of venues that will open inside Coorparoo Square, a $252 million apartment and retail development. McGarrity and McKenna hope to have the bar ready just in time for when the residents start moving into the complex.
Beyond the Pale will open at Coorparoo Square in early November.