The round-up: the most anticipated openings in Brisbane this year
The round-up: the most anticipated openings in Brisbane this year

The round-up: the most anticipated openings in Brisbane this year

The first quarter of the year is in the books and it’s been a huge one. But we’ve still got plenty of 2024 to go. Here are some of the big-name bar, cafe and restaurant openings we’re looking forward to …

Supernormal, Brisbane City: Recent years have seen a number of openings orchestrated by big-name interstate hospitality figures. In 2022, TV personality Adrian Richardson teamed up with some Brisbane talent to open BŌS, while Guy Grossi, Martin Boetz and Motomu Kumano opened restaurants Brisbane in 2023. The trend is set to continue this year, with Andrew McConnell – the head honcho of Trader House (the hospitality group he co-owns with Jo McGann that includes Cutler & Co.Gimlet at Cavendish HouseMarion and Cumulus Inc.) – bringing beloved Asian-inspired concept Supernormal north, snagging a prime location at the base of 443 Queen Street to open a Brisbane iteration. Trader House is working with architectural and interior design experts Vince Alafaci and Caroline Choker of Sydney’s ACME to bring Supernormal to life, with a 120-seat layout set to feature indoor, outdoor and private dining spaces over two levels. Positioned at river level, the main dining room and bar will boast floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views, as well as an open kitchen so you can watch the magic unfold before your eyes. The second dining level, which can also be used as a private room, will flank the location’s heritage wall with a laneway entry from Queen Street. As for the menu, we can expect Supernormal to marry the flavours of Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong into one drool-worthy offering. Supernormal is expected to open in Brisbane in mid-2024.

Justin Lane, Fortitude Valley: A once-buzzing corner of Fortitude Valley will soon be reenergised, with the group behind Burleigh Heads institution Justin Lane taking over the corner previously home to Alfred & Constance. Renowned for its pizza, pasta and party vibes, Justin Lane will look to bring much of its beloved offering to its Brisbane expansion site, which is undergoing a timely refurb. The landlord is currently in the process of refreshing the site’s existing heritage-listed buildings, and is also adding a new rooftop bar. Once complete, the Justin Lane crew – alongside Space Cubed Design Studio – will add its signature aesthetic spin to the venue, which will boast a 200-capacity dining space, a high-end underground cocktail bar, a casual coffee spot and the aforementioned rooftop space. The menu will be the same as Burleigh Heads to start, with sourdough pizzas and handmade pasta to star alongside a stellar cocktail list. Expect wine to be a bigger focus, with the Justin Lane team eager to bolster the range of its vino to better cater to Brisbane oenophiles. If everything comes together smoothly, Justin Lane Brisbane is looking to open to the public by the midway point of the year.

Petite, Fortitude Valley: Much ado has been made of the 2023 launch of Mini, the Happy Boy team’s French bistro-inspired pop-up restaurant, and for good reason. Unbeknownst to many, however, is that Mini is secretly doubling as a testing ground for the East Street Dining crew’s next bricks-and-mortar venture Petite. Currently taking shape in a striking space perched at the intersection of East Street, Ann Street and James Street, Petite will be an 80-seat wine bar akin to the group’s beloved sipping spot Snack Man. But instead of serving Chinese regional small plates, Petite is expected to deliver a constellation of French-style snacks backed by a sizeable selection of French wines. A utilitarian aesthetic comprised of leather and stone will be spread across a main dining floor and mezzanine level, with a lengthy bar and open kitchen creating a dynamic interior offset by a clutch of seats outside. Mini’s head chef Aubrey Courtel will man the pans at Petite once it opens later this year.

Cerin Pasticceria, Woolloongabba: Brisbane’s bakery scene will soon score an extra dose of Italian flair when Cerin Pasticceria opens in Woolloongabba in late-April. The brainchild of pastry chef Matteo Cerin and front-of-house pro Giuseppe Caputo, Cerin will showcase a suite of of Italian-style pastries, cakes, pizza by the tray and focaccia sandwiches. The duo is currently in the midst of a fit-out process, converting the old home of The Bakers Arms into a classic bakery that meshes with the heritage aspects of its Logan Round surroundings. Once complete, Cerin Pasticceria will serve small treats (pasticcini), individual cakes, large cakes and limited-edition celebratory cakes. The counter will be filled with biscuits and pastries (both sweet cornetti and savoury items), as well as pizzas and focaccias by the tray. A small deli section will house a range of Italian products sourced from friends or reputable suppliers, while Veneziano Coffee Roasters will be supplying the all-important caffeine. Stay tuned for more!

Baker D. Chirico, Newstead: Baked-goods lovers have been waiting for more word on the launch of Baker D. Chirico’s Newstead bakery. As one of Melbourne’s most highly regarded bakeries, Baker D. Chirico specialises in loaves and pastries made using traditional bread-making techniques, natural fermentations and biodynamic stone-milled wholegrain flour. The team announced its expansion to Brisbane in late 2020, but with the pandemic still upending plans throughout 2021, 2022 and 2023, some delays were inevitable. That said, things are looking very hopeful for the bakery’s opening this year. The space at the base of Long Island on Longland Street is complete and the bakery is giving us a delicious preview with a bread and pastry pop-up. Each day of opening, the Baker D. Chirico pop-up (accessed via a laneway just off Longland Street) will serve a rotating selection of treats, including its casalinga (white sourdough) as well as one or two other specialty breads. You’ll also find sweets like croissants, pain au chocolate and bombolone, as well as a selection of savoury options – think ham and gruyere croissants and lunch paninis. The pop-up will run for a limited time with various hours – keep an eye on Baker D. Chirico’s Instagram page for opening hours and updates.

Gum Bistro, West End: Although we were saddened to hear that beloved West End restaurant Pasta Club had shut its doors, our moods improved when we heard that a talented chef and sommelier combo were taking custodianship of the eatery’s Boundary Street space. Together they’re opening Gum Bistro – a restaurant putting Queensland produce in the spotlight alongside a broad-reaching range of wines. Owners Lachlan Matheson and Phil Poussart will offer a seasonally shifting menu that will swing from snacks to substantials. While menu details are still being kept close to the chest, we can confirm that Phil’s wine list will feature approximately 60 drops to start, encompassing vino from Australia, France, Hungary, Austria, Germany and Slovenia. A second list of vintage drops housed in temperature-controlled storage will also be available alongside a small list of classic cocktails. As for the space, the duo are currently hard at work exchanging Pasta Club’s dark interior aesthetic for a brighter palette of white and green. Gum Bistro is opening this weekend – make a booking here.

ēmmē, Fortitude Valley: A fiery new restaurant will set James Street alight in 2024, one serving a tasteful and flavour-packed blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. ēmmē (pronounced ’em’) will open in the site previously home to Spoon Deli Cafe, just off James Street, with a minimal and organic aesthetic crafted by Alkot Studio and Tonic Projects to turn the prominent space into an approachable day-and-night eatery. The restaurant will open its 44-seat interior space first, with a 2.4-m woodfire dome and open fire pit serving as the attention-grabbing fixture of the space (especially at night, when the lights dim), though an alfresco addition equipped with a high-end coffee bar serving Five Senses brew will be constructed at a later stage. ēmmē will offer breakfast and lunch services first before eventually expanding into dinner, with the menu constantly evolving based on seasonal shifts. ēmmē’s wine list will hit a number of crowd-pleasing beats and price points – expect an array of Australian and international wines, alongside beer from Felons Brewing Co. and cocktails. ēmmē will open to the public in autumn.

Bar Hugo, West End: Another pair of hospo up-and-comers are set to add to West End’s drinking and dining boom with a neighbourhood bar and eatery of their own. Bar Hugo is the brainchild of Nick Sebar and Shaun Kelly, who have snagged a space on Hardgrave Road for what they describe as a wine and vermouth bar that will have a big focus on low-ABV drinks and non-alcoholic drinks. Nick, previously manager at Savile Row, is overseeing the vermouth and cocktail offering, while Shaun – formerly maître d’ at Bacchus Restaurant in South Bank – is assembling a 60-strong wine list that will cover classic old-world styles and new-age vino. Bar Hugo will also be doing food – we’ve been told to expect a menu of small, easily plated entree-style dishes that can be divvied up amongst groups or enjoyed as a simple snack. The Bar Hugo team is targeting April for the venue’s launch.

Bunker Barre, West End: The Thomas Dixon Centre, home of the Queensland Ballet, was the recent recipient of a $100-million makeover that transformed the cultural precinct into a full-blown arts and entertainment hub. In addition to improving the world-class facilities, the revitalisation also added two rooftop event spaces, the Champagne Terrace and the Kite Terrace – plus room for some more exciting food-centric additions. Overseeing the Thomas Dixon Centre’s hospitality offering is restaurateur Simon Barakat, who will be adding two dining concepts to the precinct this year. The first is Bunker Barre, a high-end Conrad Gargett-designed 80–100-seater restaurant located down in the World War II-era bunkers that occupy the centre’s basement level. Here, the heritage brickwork will be accented by a dark colour palette and brass touches. Booth seating will be set within the bunker’s alcoves, while a private-dining space is also expected to feature. The offering will reportedly showcase refined, share-style Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with a focus on seafood and protein, joined by a wine list boasting plenty of a range of top-shelf vino. In addition to Bunker Barre, Simon will also open an all-day bistro closer to the building’s main entrance on Drake Street. Positioned more as an approachable, everyday kind of concept, the bistro will hawk healthy and classic breakfasts, as well as lunch and dinner dishes as the day progresses. Both venues are expected to open in 2024.

Pawn & Co, Fortitude Valley: A one-of-a-kind bar will be taking over a beloved site in Fortitude Valley this year when Pawn & Co opens on Ann Street. The concept, best described as a pawn-shop-meets-nightclub hybrid, first opening in Melbourne 11 years ago, piquing the curiosity of punters with the promise that everything inside Pawn & Co was for sale – including the business itself. Pawn & Co’s owners, Josh Lefers, Stephen Wools and Steve Thomas, are now bringing the Pawn & Co experience to Brisbane, transforming the two-level site (previously home to Laruche) into a wonderland of beats, bang-on cocktails and big-ticket auction items. Once the fit-out (undertaken by Lowry Group) is complete, Pawn & Co’s interior will be coated in kitschy curiosities and imported one-of-a-kind finds, as well as some elaborate custom fixtures that are almost art pieces. All Pawn & Co stock will be affixed with QR codes to give you a history of each object, with new pieces expected to be added regularly. Pawn & Co Brisbane will also boast its own perfumery (which will craft scents for sale as retail outside of the club), a mechanical snow globe (that moves between levels) housing its own bar experience, and a small automated nail salon. Top-notch DJs will propel bodies into motion via a brand-new sound system, while the bar will be dispensing interactive carnival-inspired cocktails. Pawn & Co will be launching in the coming months.

Evra, Newstead: Newstead continues to gun for the title of Brisbane’s epicurean epicentre, with more and more bars and eateries slotting into vacant spaces around the suburb. Los Angeles-inspired marketplace, wine boutique and restaurant Evra has had a plum site on Longland Street staked out for some time, but now we’re finally getting to learn more about what the multifaceted locale has in store. Offering everything from convenient and nutritious grab-and-go morsels to luxurious lunches and dinners, Evra will cater to most needs across its two distinct halves. The casual marketplace will serve busy locals a range of lifestyle essentials, including fresh, nutritionally dense, easy-to-grab meals, bottled tonics, smoothies, huge salads and coffees. Plus, there will also be a bespoke wine merchant for last-minute vino pickups. Evra’s 120-seat dine-in portion will see head chef Neven Vanderzee put his Michelin-starred experience to the test with breakfast, lunch and dinner menus showcasing coastal and country produce sourced from local growers and producers. These dishes will be complemented by a beverage program curated by head sommelier and venue manager Florian Valieres, featuring classic cocktails as well as a sturdy wine list that is already earning acclaim. Evra is expected to open in the coming months.

Naldham House, Brisbane City: The next few years are going to be big for Brisbane City. A string of high-profile developments will completely reshape the inner-city (and its dining scene), including Queens Wharf (more on that below), Waterfront Brisbane and the completion of 443 Queen Street, among others. Naldham House, a heritage landmark perched at the junction of Eagle, Mary and Market Streets, is currently undergoing a refurbishment process that will restore it to its former grandeur ahead of its debut as a new dining and entertainment hub. Dexus Property Group has teamed up with DAP & Co. – the Brisbane-based hospitality group behind Walter’s SteakhousePopolo and The Gresham – to bring some to-be-announced concepts to the iconic site. The team is keeping details close to the chest so far, but with a site as stunning as Naldham House to work with, we can assume the DAP & Co. crew has some incredible plans in the works.

The Star Brisbane, Brisbane City: As we get closer to the official opening date of Queen’s Wharf, expect announcements regarding the precinct’s food and beverage options to come thick and fast. The Star Brisbane has already started sharing sneak peeks at what we can look forward to, including members of The Star’s established culinary family, Cucina ReginaFat Noodle and Cherry. The crown jewels of the precinct, however, will be those positioned at the hub’s rooftop playground, the highly anticipated Sky Deck. Leading the culinary offering will be The Star Brisbane’s signature restaurant Aloria, an elegant Euro-inspired dining destination using time-honoured woodfire techniques to bring the best out of dry-aged beef and sensational Queensland seafood. Aloria will boast a cellar filled to the brim with premium vino, while a dedicated martini menu will offer everything from simple, well-executed classics to inventive riffs. Also occupying prime position at Sky Deck will be Babblers, a family-friendly all-day diner serving share-style feeds (think hand-crafted flatbreads crowned with seasonal produce) alongside Australian craft beer and wines. At the centre of Sky Deck will sit Cicada Blu, an open-air bar serving pre-dinner aperitifs and botanical-infused post-dinner cocktails. To get a glimpse at the renders for Aloria, Babblers and Cicada Blu, be sure to check out our more in-depth rundown of the exciting news. The Star Brisbane at Queen’s Wharf will open to the public in August 2024.


Mr Duncans, Fortitude Valley: Fortitude Valley’s Chinatown Mall is soon to get a new lease on life, with a multi-million-dollar food and drink concept slated to open in November this year. Mr Duncans will take over an expansive new space on the car park side of the mall, promising to bring a lively atmosphere back to the once-buzzing strip. The brainchild of Vince Mōefa’auo, who previously operated The Valley’s Halo Ground cafe, Mr Duncans will feature a cafe, bar and five individual kitchens serving a variety of cuisines across the almost-300-seat venue. Essentially diners will be able to find a seat in the communal dining room, then order via QR code from the array of cuisines on offer, to enjoy share style. During the day, the focus will be on high-quality quick-service selections, promising satisfying restaurant-quality meals in a fraction of the time (and cost). Come evening, expect larger, more premium, share-style dishes, including charcuterie, pasta and meat by the kilo. Vince is currently in the process of securing the right operators for the space, but we’re told to expect a meat-focused kitchen, rice bowls, pasta, noodles, Portuguese-style grilled chicken and a carvery and deli option. Mr Duncans will also feature a full-service bar (we hear an alcoholic ice-cream is in the works) and cafe, serving up egg muffins and grab-and-go eats. Vince’s plans for Mr Duncans don’t stop at the 75-m-fronted space – he also plans to expand its footprint into the centre of the mall with a kiosk-style bar and eatery down the track.

The Wright House, Woolloongabba: The Talisman Group has made a mission out of establishing its own dining precinct in the foundations of South City Square. Later this year the hospitality group will add The Wright House, a whopping 300-seat brewpub, to its thriving portfolio, which also includes Sasso ItalianoCasa ChowSouth City WinePurple Palm and Los Felix. This hybrid bar and eatery will mesh mid-century American architecture and Australian pub culture, taking design cues from iconic American architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright. A homely aesthetic of stone, tile and timber will be applied to the spacious interior, itself boasting a hovering cantilevered mezzanine accessed by a floating glass and wood staircase, an open kitchen centred around a 2.5-m Spanish style parrilla with a woodfire hearth, and six custom rose-gold bright tanks above the bar. Executive chef Gabriele Di Landri will craft a menu of pub-style fare melding Australian and American flavours, using the woodfire grill to cook everything from beef burgers to veal schnitzels. The bright tanks will be used to dispense beer crafted by the crew at Aether Brewing, including an American-style ale made exclusively for The Wright House. These beers will be available alongside classic cocktails, a broad array of spirits and a wine list of quaffable Australian vino. That’s not all the Talisman Group has planned for the venue – up on the mezzanine level guests will find The Office, a 30-seat private dining room and old-school American-style steakhouse that is shaping up to be the perfect spot for Mad Men fans to live out their Don Draper fantasies (as long as those fantasies include oysters and steaks at midday). Expect black-leather booths, dark mahogany furnishings, filing cabinets built into the joinery, vintage lamps and shelves displaying decanters, globes and books. The parilla will also be utilised for The Office’s menu of steakhouse fare, with an assortment of salivation-worthy steaks available alongside American-inspired steakhouse sides. The Office will boast a dedicated Manhattan bar and a wine list showcasing big and bold American vino (think shiraz and cabernet, to match the steaks). The Wright House and The Office is slated to open in late 2024.

Stilts and Mulga Bill’s, Brisbane City: This year is set to be a big one for denizens of the inner city. Not only will the forthcoming Kangaroo Point Green Bridge vastly improve access to The City’s waterfront, the crossing’s completion will also herald the arrival of two brand-new eateries from Michael Tassis of Opa Bar & Mezze and Yamas Greek + Drink fame. Tassis Group will open over-water restaurant Stilts and an all-day bicycle-themed cafe Mulga Bill’s on the green bridge, infusing both concepts with tributes to history and place. Stilts – a name that pays homage to the traditional Queenslander home, perched high on stilts  – will sit more than ten metres above the Brisbane River in a 300-sqm space boasting an estimated capacity of 130 guests. Equipped with a bar and a private-dining area, the restaurant will offer near-unbeatable views along The City’s waterfront stretch and across the Brisbane River to the Story Bridge and Kangaroo Point cliffs. In the kitchen, a woodfire grill will cook an array of morsels, with protein and seafood – think steak, lobster and mud crab – expected to be key components of the menu. A more casual cafe-style concept compared to its sibling venue Stilts, Mulga Bill’s will serve woodfired pizzas, tapas, steak and seafood to dine-in patrons, grab-and-go pastries and coffee to commuters, plus takeaway picnic boxes perfect for grazing amongst the nearby parkland and public spaces. More details on Stilts and Mulga Bill’s will be revealed closer to the Green Bridge’s completion.

Longwang, Brisbane City: Following hot on the heels of 2023’s headline-grabbing openings of Fosh and Rich & Rare, Michael Tassis has announced the forthcoming launch of yet another dining concept, set to arrive in early this year. Pan Asian-inspired bar and restaurant Longwang will open down a slender alleyway space off Edward Street in The City. Though it may have diners tittering at its branding, Longwang shares its name with the revered Dragon King, a Chinese water and weather god who was said to dispense rain and have command over all bodies of water. Longwang will pay homage to its namesake through a menu that explores contemporary Asian gastronomy, especially seafood. Executing Longwang’s offering will be executive chef and partner Jason Margaritis – an accomplished cuisiner who has previously helmed the kitchen at sAme sAme and Donna Chang. Longwang will be the Tassis Group’s most unconventional restaurant to date, as far as footprint is concerned. Measuring 3-m wide and 30-m in length, Longwang will boast a slim custom-built layout divided over two levels, with an open-air bar situated on the upstairs mezzanine offering a vantage point over the streetscape. Clui Design is once again collaborating on the aesthetic, with black steel structural elements, jade-coloured marble accents and elegant brass embellishments expected to feature. Longwang is targeting an autumn 2024 opening.

Fatcow on James St, Fortitude Valley: Just when you thought Michael Tassis couldn’t fit any more on his place, he announces the forthcoming opening of another eatery – this time on James Street. Late last year, the Tassis Group announced that it would be reopening Fatcow, the formerly Eagle Street Pier-based steak and seafood restaurant, on the high street in 2024. Fatcow on James St will open in new digs at 10 James Street, a space likely familiar to many as the former David Jones site – just near James St Market. The crew is targeting an autumn opening date, with regular collaborators Clui Design conceiving a slick aesthetic to match Fatcow’s elevated fare, which showcases the best of land and sea on a plate.

The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.


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