At Les Bubbles, a neon slogan on the exterior brick wall, "Quality meat served here since 1982", is your first introduction to the restaurant's sense of humour. It's apt. The building once housed the illegal casino and "massage parlour" Bubbles Bathhouse, central to the infamous Fitzgerald inquiry in the 1980s.
Inspired by the building’s rich, colourful history, restaurateur Damian Griffiths (Limes Hotel, Alfredos, Alfred and Constance, Doughnut Time) brought the two-level venue back to life in the form of a French steakhouse and bathhouse. It's a unique mix that works.
The building's past is displayed in vivid photographs in the upper-level French bistro. They complement the red-leather booths, dark wood and a mosaic-tiled wall. A single-dish menu offers steak "cooked how you like it", salad, bread with French butter and bottomless frites. Local house wine is served by the carafe.
Downstairs, the discotheque bathhouse features a fully functioning 12-person spa bath with a waterfall. The drinks list, brimming with innuendo, includes cocktails such as Hush Money, Page Four and Midnight State, a nod to a documentary on this corrupt period of Brisbane's history.