Sandgate welcomes the arrival of community-focused local Bluenose Betty
On paper, it’s easy to list what makes a solid suburban watering hole. Great drinks are a must and a solid food menu is also essential. The ambience has to be on point, with a decor that is stylish but approachable. Oh, and the staff has to be friendly, too – that’s non-negotiable. Although this set of criteria is easy to list, nailing each and every one of them is more of an art, rather than a science. The crew behind new Sandgate drinkery Bluenose Betty seem to have struck a perfect balance, offering the right mix of essential and intangible qualities – quickly become a community favourite. Read on to see how they did it …
Sandgate isn’t short on watering holes. Cosy hideaway Cardigan Bar on Seymour Street has been a beloved go-to for those favouring intimate vibes for years, while frosty craft beer and live music draws throngs of locals to Mr Henderson on Brighton Parade every week. What the area needs most, if you ask the Northey family, are more community-oriented joints that could cater to the whims of every soul that sets foot inside. That’s what they’ve set out to create at Bluenose Betty, a brand-new bar and eatery perched on Rainbow Street, just a short jaunt from Sandgate Town Hall. The Northey’s – patriarch Darrin, his partner Christina and his boys Ryan and Jade – are a family of hospitality veterans who have built up a portfolio of venues including Streetcorner Jimmy in Teneriffe and Coffs Harbour establishments Element Bar and Dark Arts Cafe & Bar. They’ve put their expertise to good use once more in Sandgate, converting the former site of Sam’s Wine Bar into an elegant hub that avoids pretension while eschewing prototypical pub trappings. A six-month refurbishment period saw the team overhaul much of the building’s sizeable interior and rear garden space, constructing a brand-new pressed-metal bar (equipped with eight taps), erecting a steel-frame back bar, walling off the kitchen and installing a retractable awning over the al fresco patio. The effort has resulted in a look and feel that places comfort first – a breathable space that feels lived in, like you’re walking into a good friend’s home.
When it comes to the offering, the Northey family tailored the food and beverage menus to ensure maximum flexibility and freedom of choice. If you’ve got a hankering for something particular, there’s a good chance Bluenose Betty’s kitchen can make it. The fun starts with simple and tasty bites like seasoned wedges, salt-and-pepper squid strips and baked pretzels before moving onto large-format plates. Big chicken schnitzels, baked camembert with caramelised onion, Philly cheesesteak nachos, flatbread pizzas and soft tacos share menu space with spiced tempura zucchini fritters, buttermilk chicken wings, barbecue-pork burgers, warm roasted field mushroom and haloumi salad, and grazing boards. As for the quaffing material, the crew continues its mantra of ‘something for everyone’, keeping it strictly Australian for its draught beer taps, with Brouhaha, Stone & Wood and Black Hops among the ales featuring. An extensive wine list features French rosé, Argentinian malbec, Italian moscato and a whole host of Australian vino, while the substantial back bar (stocked with an impressive array of Australian and international spirits) filters into Bluenose Betty’s list 0f classic and signature cocktails. Soon, live-music performances will be added to Bluenose Betty’s weekly schedule alongside nightly meal specials.
Bluenose Betty is now open to the public. For opening hours, contact details and social media links, head to the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.