Ben Roberts, Venue Manager, South Bank Surf Club

Never be afraid to ask why ...

Being a Brisbane dweller means that golden beaches are within easy reach, although a career spent working alongside the ocean isn’t always doable. But as the manager of South Bank Surf Club, Ben Roberts concedes that the sun and sand of South Bank is a happy compromise. Ben has spent his career in hospitality, working at some of Brisbane’s bigger venues before joining the tight-knit crew at the Surf Club two years ago. The outdoor restaurant and bar basks in its natural setting, and has just launched its new winter menu, along with a line-up of live musicians to serenade guests three nights a week. Ben is also currently working on The Hunting Club for the annual Regional Flavours foodie gathering in July, where the restaurant will match local craft beer, wine and cider with an adventurous selection of local produce. Before Ben had to pop down to McLaren Vale in South Australia to taste new wines for the Surf Club, he had a chat with The Weekend Edition about his inspirations and weekend essentials.

How do you like to start your weekend?
Looking at the weather forecast and hoping for sun.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
Grabbing an early coffee and breakfast with my wife before heading to South Bank Surf Club to feed and water the South Bank masses.

How do you like to unwind?
Wine, wine, wine and cooking. Surprisingly, the two things I’m around all day.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
No work, good friends, good food and good late-night music.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
Putting the above answer into action.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
An early finish and head home for a drink on the deck.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
Nice weather and a full South Bank Surf Club.

What are you reading at the moment?
The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz. And when that gets too much, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

What inspires you?
Independent operators doing great things with local products.

What was your childhood dream?
To represent Australia in everything.

What has been your greatest achievement?
Enjoying what I do.

What is success to you?
A good night’s sleep – you need to enjoy the small victories.

What are your words of wisdom?
Never be afraid to ask why.

Only a local would know … that South Bank is no longer just a place to bring your out-of-town friends.


  • Perk up … Scout, Petrie Terrace.
  • Relax … Sunshine Beach.
  • Dine … Gerard’s Bistro, Fortitude Valley.
  • Indulge … At a craft bottle shop.
  • Shop … Any kind of deli.
  • Catch-up … Yum cha.
  • Be inspired … GOMA, South Bank.


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