Secret whisky dens, a second home for a brewpub favourite and unstoppable 10-hit combos. Here are the local bar openings everyone’s talking about.
La Lune Wine Co
Good things take time and La Lune has been like a fine wine seven years in the making for owner Paul McGivern. The Brisbane star chef first dreamed of opening his own wine bar after visiting Burgundy in 2010. Finally, the perfect spot came up along Fish Lane. The result is a small 42-seat venue with a sleek yet cosy interior: wooden tables and chairs, a long marble bar and translucent white curtains. Peter Moon (ex-Anise, Black Pearl Epicure) joins McGivern in the small, open kitchen, with bar manager Olivia Evans piloting the 120-strong wine list.
Daniel Rodriguez, Bodie Schofield, Nick Royds and Adam Pykett’s dream to open Electric Avenue – a tribute to Woolloongabba’s recent history as a centre for antiques – took four years to realise. Finally opening inside the old two-storey Crosstown Public House, Electric Avenue is part bistro, part wine bar, part secret whisky den. It’s a place people can drop into for a drink before dinner, come to for a nightcap and a toe tap, or settle into and stay all night. Yes, it’s named after the Eddy Grant song.
Newstead Brewing Milton
The neighbouring Suncorp Stadium is the only thing that could possibly swamp the size of Newstead Brewing Co’s new Milton outpost. At its busiest, the Castlemaine Street venue has 10 times the capacity of the Newstead original. The space features a terrace, a beer production area, a function room and a licensed car park to accommodate spillover at busy times. There’s a total of 32 taps across three bars offering the Newstead core beer range and a cider, as well as a couple of specials and seasonal beers.
A love of playing competitive pinball and drinking beer – simultaneously – led to the birth of Netherworld. James Angliss, along with Ben Nichols and Kieran Ryan from The Scratch, opened the pub, diner and game bar based on the popular arcade-bar scene in the United States. Taking over the old Step Inn, a heritage-listed curved bar (complete with retro green tiling) fills one room. An alleyway of arcade machines and gaming tables has taken over another. Jammed between them is the quirky Hellmouth’s Diner, an American-themed, Japanese-influenced vegan eatery. Bring plenty of gold coins.
The Montague Hotel
Expect a meat-heavy menu, plenty of beer and screens for sport. Then throw in some more refined additions – a gin menu, a focus on good wine, healthy food options and decks stretching out onto both Montague Road and Kurilpa Street. Et voila – you have West End’s newest local, The Montague Hotel. The 400-capacity, industrially styled venue has big ambitions to become a mainstay for this rapidly developing corner of the suburb. Drop in for a beer, stay for dinner, and please, call him “Monty”.