Among a bunch of warehouses and a carpark on Holdsworth Street sits Factory 51, a new, multi-purpose hospitality space in one of Coorparoo’s few remaining heritage buildings. The location is inconspicuous, the name disarmingly self-evident.
Formerly a Laminex factory, the red brick building reopened last month as a bar and laneway bistro, complete with chandelier-clad function room, The Workshop, out back. “I wanted to give someone a really good, cellar door winery experience in the suburbs,” says owner Beau Vedelago.
After establishing The London Club in Teneriffe, Vedelago was looking to do a similarly adaptable venue, but on a bigger scale and closer to home (he lives nearby, in Holland Park). “Brisbane’s totally north side,” he says. “On the south side, there are all these people but nothing servicing them.”
With a raft of new developments underway around Coorparoo’s old Myer site, preserving a piece of south side heritage is a job Vedelago has taken to heart. “We haven’t changed the shape of the building at all,” he says. “We’ve just enhanced it with materials.”
Exposed brick walls, steel beams, concrete floors and green marble bench tops combine to give a polished, industrial look that still manages to feel earthy and inviting. The factory’s original timber floor has been repurposed for a bar wall and bathroom door. The alfresco bistro, a former factory loading zone, comes with a retractable roof to keep things cosy. It creates a warm, casual dining atmosphere, the venue designed to become “part of the local mindset and routine” and not just reserved for the weekends.
There are plenty of boutique wines by the glass to encourage experimentation, and ten craft beers on tap, including Killer Sprocket Amber Ale from Melbourne and Tamborine’s Fortitude Drifter Summer Ale.
The Italian-inspired menu is anchored in share plates such as pork shoulder meatballs, house made gnocchi and charcuterie, but boasts both heartier fare from either the grill or three tonne pizza oven, and a selection of bar nibbles. Lunches have more of a gastropub theme, with burgers, pasta and beer-battered fish and chips.
51 Holdsworth Sreet, Cooparoo
07 3324 0844
Tue to Sun 11am—Late