We may be in the last days of summer but that’s no reason to start going into hibernation mode. Hopefully you’ve already worked your way through this list, because Brisbane’s bar scene is getting more exciting by the minute!
With so many bars and so little time, you might need to start locking in some school night dates at these top spots for a tipple.
Caxton Street has welcomed this slick new bar with open arms. Brewski leaves no guesses as to what its specialty is, with the onus firmly on quality craft beer. They do food, too (with some truly Aussie pizza specials like the ‘Alf Stewart’) but let’s face it, it’s all about what’s on tap here.
Cheese platters served atop skateboard decks, crystal decanters as light shades, more than 50 varieties of whisky lining the shelves and old school hip hop on the turntable… It’s official, Sabotage Social is bringing some serious ‘90s funk back to Fortitude Valley.
This cosy bar, tucked into a corner of the heritage-listed National Australia Bank on Gresham Lane in the CBD is all Chesterfield couches, pressed metal ceilings, mood lighting, and has the most impressive list of whisky-based cocktails in Brisbane. Try the alcoholic spider of rye whisky, cherry cola and ice-cream.
New Farm locals may be lamenting the absence of The Alibi Room’s famous $2 Taco nights but new kid on the block, Francie Mays, which slotted into its place with a good spruce up recently, is shaking things up a little with a fresh Asian-inspired menu and inventive drinks list.
The Bearded Lady
The circus has come to town and settled on Boundary Street in West End, but you won’t find any cringe-worthy animal performances or dubious magicians on this stage, just a creative and kooky line up of cocktails, comfortable salvaged couches, a BYO ethos when it comes to nosh and when the mood strikes, impromptu musical and theatre performances. What’s not to love?
Statler and Waldorf
Continuing the new-kid domination on Caxton Street (and stealing their name from those nagging grandpas on The Muppets), Statler and Waldorf keeps the food simple but tasty, the drinks as un-wanker-ish as possible, and the vibe positively cool.
The Tiki trend is showing no signs of slowing down and West End small bar Jungle is a Polynesian paradise. With more rum than could slow a pirate invasion, fun and fruity cocktails built on fresh-pressed juice, and plenty of batik and pineapples to get you in the mood, you’ll want to get on board the Tiki train.
Tucked in behind James Street stalwart Harvey’s Bistro, Tinderbox Kitchen is a cool little pizza and wine bar, featuring local craft beers from Sunshine Coast Brewery and Burleigh Brewing.
Whisky is a go-go in Brisbane right now, so much so that Nant Whisky Cellar & Bar has opened a second venue in the CBD to serve the suits and ties. Whisky beginners should start with Nant’s twist on an Espresso Martini – the Black Ray.
Dandy’s Rooftop Bar at The Fox Hotel
There’s simply not enough rooftops open to the public in Brisbane so Dandy’s opening has got the River City’s residents buzzing. The tongue-in-cheek cocktail names – Bramble Sharapova – a play on tennis greats (excuse the pun) – will satiate your summer thirst, and share plates from the charcoal grill will do so much more than just line the tummy.
The Sangria Bar
Playing little (tipsy) sister to tapas joint Ole at South Bank, The Sangria Bar does what it says. With seven varieties of the powerful punch on offer, you can grab a flight of four flavours for $20 or take a chance on their sangria of the day. With food being served until midnight from Thursday to Sunday you can even fit in a little Spanish siesta before heading out.
*Dandy’s Rooftop Bar image: The Weekend Edition