Woolloongabba is in the midst of an identity crisis. The stores filled with teacups, lampshades and ornate vases have shut up shop. The cul-de-sac best known for its antique shopping is all out of teak chests.
While a rotation of excellent restaurants, cafes and boutiques have slowly filled the empty tenancies, the Gabba Fiveways still lacks an all-rounder, a place to boogie.
“I want to light up the street again,” says Daniel Rodriguez, whose four-year dream to build Electric Avenue – a tribute to the precinct – is nearly complete.
“For the last six months I’ve been trawling Gumtree, eBay, going to the antique centres in Paddington and Woolloongabba, collecting stuff. We’ve got this old violin from Ilja [Grawert]. He’s our neighbour at Canvas. Then you’ll see old clocks all over the place,” Rodriguez explains.
“People might think it’s too much, but I really want to incorporate [that idea] that [you're walking] an into antique store and it’s Woolloongabba.”
Part bistro, part wine bar, part secret whisky den, Electric Avenue will be a space where people can drop in for a drink before dinner, come for a nightcap and a toe tap, or settle in and stay all night.
Late last year, Rodriguez and fellow Canvas co-owner Bodie Schofield, along with partners Nick Royds, a long-time Canvas bartender, and carpenter Adam Pykett commenced renovations to flip the old two-storey Crosstown Public House on its head. “I come up with crazy ideas and Adam tells me, yeah we can do that, no we can’t do that,” Rodriguez says. “It already has great bones – so we’ve just rejigged the space.”
A 50-seat bistro will sit on one side with table service and a refined menu designed by chef Will Quartel, formerly of Sourced Grocer. On the other side, the bar has been opened up completely and will offer five classic cocktails with simple quirky twists, plus a list of 75 wines.
But that’s not quite all. Upstairs is a bolthole the gents are calling Jack Rabbit. It’s a whisky bar but beyond that, Rodriguez won’t be drawn – he wants punters to explore and find it for themselves.
That you’ll be able to do from Monday week.
Electric Avenue intends to open to the public on Monday 17 April.
23 Logan Road, Woolloongabba