Pavement Whispers: Come To Daddy, an inclusive bar and community social club, is opening soon in West End
Pavement Whispers: Come To Daddy, an inclusive bar and community social club, is opening soon in West End

Pavement Whispers: Come To Daddy, an inclusive bar and community social club, is opening soon in West End

A former taproom on Montague Road in West End will soon be reborn as an inclusive bar, eatery and entertainment spot. Come To Daddy will be slinging local beers and cocktails made using Australian spirits, serving hit-the-spot pub-style feeds, and hosting everything from drag shows to open-mic nights. It’s slated to open next month – here’s what we know …

For nine years, Billerwell Daye could be found behind the bar at John Mills Himself, pouring all-Aussie brews and knocking up cocktails using Australian-made spirits. During this time, Billerwell prided himself on making John Mills Himself an inclusive space, limited only by its seating capacity. Next month, he’ll be opening the doors on a brand-new concept, one that retains an all-are-welcome ethos and Australian-leaning offering, but boasts a lot more elbow room.

In late-April, Billerwell hopes to cut the ribbon on Come To Daddy – a bar, eatery and entertainment hub currently taking shape on Montague Road. Nestled in the space previously home to Ballistic Beer’s West End taproom, the site was a fortunate find for Billerwell, who had been seeking a spot just like it ever since calling time at John Mills Himself in 2022.

“I wanted something larger than what John Mills Himself was, because that had a 40-people capacity,” explains Billerwell. “I wanted flexibility. I wanted a kitchen so that I could do food, as well as focusing on cocktails. I also wanted to have a stage to do drag shows, open-mic nights, singer-songwriter performances, small bands – that kind of thing.”

Here, he’s got room to do it all. Billerwell describes Come To Daddy as an LGBTIQA+ friendly gathering point – a spot where eating, drinking and entertainment is all on the cards. “The idea of this was to be a community social club,” explains Billerwell. “It was predominantly for the LGBTQ+ community, but it’s not entirely for them – I want it to be all inclusive and just provide a bit of fun for everyone.”

Currently, Billerwell is overseeing a fit-out process that has included the construction of a stage and a re-fit of the bar. Aesthetically, the operator (who boasts a background in architecture) is looking to accent the site’s pre-existing qualities to create something comfortable, but unique. Once complete, the space will boast 90 seats inside across a mix of high and low tables, bar stools and couches, with room for an additional 30 patrons out front.

“The architecture that’s here and what was existing, we’re working with that,” says Billerwell, who explains the aesthetic will be inspired by dark academia, with a bit of a 70s vibe in the mix courtesy of custom lightbox signage and neons. “There are little things that are coming that we’re just kind of touching on, fixing up and fitting in with the existing aesthetic that was here.”

Behind the bar, Come To Daddy will feature two cocktail stations, six beer taps (all pouring locally made suds) and a coffee machine. As for the back-bar curation, Billerwell is loosening his all-Australian-made stance, but only slightly. “It’ll be predominantly Australian focused,” he reveals. “At John Mills Himself it was an absolute Australian focus – I was really strict over there, where it had to be Australian owned and had to be Australian made. I’m not going to be as strict here. I would say 90- to 95- per cent of spirits on the shelf will be Australian.”

Some signature cocktails will be carried over from John Mills Himself, with staff encouraged to work on their palates and do regular cocktail creation to come up with some cracking recipes.

The kitchen menu will grow over time, but will start with a range of satisfying pub-style bar food before evolving to include finger food, shareable plates and the occasional big meal. Further down the line, Billerwell is eager to experiment with a brunch service on weekends.

Once open, Come To Daddy’s will be another welcome addition to West End’s hospitality scene, which is currently undergoing a bit of a boom. Billerwell hopes the venue finds a place amongst the community and is intent on giving locals a place where they can feel at home.

“We want staff to get to know our clients on a first-name basis and have them become a part of a bigger family here,” says Billerwell. “Daddy’s not about one person – it’s an idea. It’s about unity, community, welcomeness and, obviously, inclusiveness. I’m not daddy – everyone’s daddy. So that is the tongue-in-cheek play on the title and what we wanted to do with it.”

Come To Daddy is looking to launch in mid-to-late April – stay tuned for an up-close look once it’s open.

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

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