They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a drinking problem. For our sassy capital, that problem is trying to find the time to work your way through the ever-increasing list of dapper new bars popping up across the city and its trendy fringes.
As we count down to Christmas, there’s no finer time to stretch out your days (even without daylight savings. Damn cows) and toast to the silly season at one of these 11 new watering holes.
The Walrus Club
The instructions are simple: find the unmarked black doors and head down the stairs to enter a rabbit warren of exposed brick, plush mahogany leather, and candelabras, transporting you to the 1920s prohibition era.
The Walrus Club brings the speakeasy to the suburbs, with the onus on quality rum. In fact, over 250 golden drops ready to pour neat, or shake into a spiced cocktail. Hidden beneath the floorboards of the iconic Regatta Hotel, time is easily lost in this cosy den of debauchery.
Next Door Kitchen & Bar
Jumping on the speakeasy bandwagon, Next Door Kitchen & Bar also gives a nod to the ‘20s with their sophisticated drinks list and share plates. There’s no hard-to-find entrance here however, slotting neatly between Ahmet’s and Olé on Little Stanley Street.
Alfred & Constance
A visit to Alfred & Constance is like coming home to your wacky aunt’s, if your aunty had a penchant for astro turf and pina coladas.
Alfred & Constance flows in, between and around two beautiful vintage Queenslander homes, allowing you to skip between the gastro pub, beer garden, dessert bar and fun-loving Tiki bar. Beware the Zombie Punch.
Sixes and Sevens
Keeping the at-home feeling, Sixes and Sevens is the newest kid on the block in the James St neighborhood, occupying a heritage-listed cottage once used for pop-up sales.
The owners of cru bar (just up the street) have given the cottage a new lease of life with tropical wallpaper, salvaged timber, exposed light bulbs and a tasty gastropub menu.
Pony Lounge & Dining
A big-name Sydney invasion has begun at Eagle Street Pier with Pony Lounge & Dining galloping into town.
The classy fit-out harnesses the theatrics of the open-plan kitchen and grill (yes, that is a whole pig roasting away), while capturing the money shot across the Brisbane River and Story Bridge.
Riverbar & Kitchen
In place of Boardwalk Bar and Bistro, which closed earlier this year, Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan’s Riverbar & Kitchen has rolled into town just in time for Christmas.
The vintage boatshed-esque bar is best enjoyed with a cocktail jug and bucket of fresh prawns under one of the yellow beach umbrellas, riverside.
Nant Whisky Cellar and Bar
Whisky bars are looking set to become the new craft beer joint, and the opening of Nant in the Emporium complex in Fortitude Valley is setting the bar high.
Offering 80 single-malt whiskies from around the world (including Nant’s three premium drops), as well as a selection of Tassie wines and a tapas menu peppered with Tasmanian produce, it’s a clear taste of the ‘other pointy end’ of Australia in Brisbane.
East Brisbane is quickly blossoming into the land of the small bar,with O’Lea settling in as neighbour to Foxy Bean in Woolloongabba. The $10 lunch box specials, filled with the likes of pork steamed buns, Wagyu burgers and rice paper rolls, are best enjoyed with a frosty beer on a steamy summer’s day.
In a stroke of what some would call fruitful genius, the new InCider Trading boutique cellar has opened on Wickham Street in Fortitude Valley with a courtyard bar out the back, offering wine and cider by the glass or bottle, wine flights and a succinct tapas menu.
Taking over the space above Archive in West End, Loft is a self-proclaimed New York-style Village bar serving up an impressive repertoire of cocktails, wines and grazing menu. While the uni kids play downstairs, patrons can slip up to Loft for a cosy and classy evening in plush surrounds.
If you’re looking for Chicago-style comfort food (think hot dogs with all the trimmings, buffalo wings and pork belly sliders), and a finely tuned selection of craft beers on tap, head into the industrial streets of Newstead to discover the new man cave otherwise known as Tippler’s Tap.
**UPDATE: Check out 11 (more) new Brisbane bars**