Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot
Flying Colours

Meet Flying Colours, the wine-slinging spiritual successor to Super Whatnot

During its heyday, Super Whatnot lured in libation seekers with a simple promise – “It’s nice here”. Flying Colours, Super Whatnot’s successor, has a similar catchphrase – “It’s nice here, too”. We’d go a step further and say that the brand-new venue isn’t just nice, it might very well be nicer than its predecessor. Transforming a warehouse on Vulture Street into a multi-faceted hub of neighbourhood conviviality, the West End bar and eatery is already causing a buzz courtesy of its all-are-welcome accessibility, a stellar selection of natural-leaning wines, slurp-worthy cocktails and a seasonal menu of produce-driven eats. Flying Colours looks and feels the goods – take a peek inside …

When Simon Martin closed his long-running Burnett Lane bar Super Whatnot after 11 years of trade, it wasn’t because he wanted to step away from hospitality. Far from it. He wanted to go bigger. His effortlessly cool and unpretentiously welcoming small bar helped blaze a path for similarly slight sipping spots, and its slickly polished Marc & Co-designed interior (housed in a repurposed loading bay) set a new standard for what an inner-city Brisbane bar could look like. Eventually, however, Simon sensed a shift in the scene – a broader desire for neighbourhood venues that brought the quality and trendiness of the inner city to the suburbs. Coincidentally, it was a movement that mirrored Simon’s own wants as a West End local. “The City in the post-COVID world didn’t have the same energy as it did when I opened Super Whatnot,” Simon recalls. “That energy might come back and I’m sure it will, but I live in West End and it just really made more sense for me to concentrate my efforts and my resources on something that’s bigger – something that has a bit of a indoor-outdoor dynamic and something that suited the neighbourhood that I live in.” Flying Colours, Simon’s brand-new locale, fits the brief perfectly. Lording over Vulture Street, the split-level warehouse space (formerly occupied by Wandering Cooks) is more open than Super Whatnot’s close-quarters industrial confines, with elbow room to spare and colour in spades. The spacious joint has opened at a time where West End is approaching a new zenith, joining the likes of Bar FrancineThe Twin and Cordeaux Social Club as part of a new wave of exciting openings, creating a diverse, buzzing and walkable drinking and dining strip alongside established venues like The EndBosc.Jungle and Mama Taco.

Simon drew inspiration for the space from a trip to Los Angeles with architect Angus Munro of Marc & Co (who also designed Super Whatnot). The pair looked to venues like Bestia and Gjelina that seamlessly meld outdoor and indoor spaces, hoping to create a haunt that offered the same kind of vibe, but tailored more to local tastes. “We wanted to do something that felt like West End rather than trying to copy a feeling from overseas,” says Simon. “All of those ideas have been translated into a language that really speaks to Brisbane, that’s really about West End.” Guests enter Flying Colours (built by Lowry Group) via a leafy courtyard, framed by a black chain-link fence, where a smattering of high and low tables (including many fabricated by Five Mile Radius) are shaded by tropical plants and pastel-hued tassel-fringed umbrellas. “Outside it’s really about making the most of the natural light and the unbelievably good weather that we enjoy,” Simon elaborates. “You feel comfortable coming in the afternoon or at night and you can bring your kids or your dog.” Inside the warehouse, the space is livened by new and repurposed finishes – a blush-pink bar, mint-green booth seating, perforated plywood wall details and an obnoxiously large disco ball that is practically begging to be danced beneath. Adjacent to the dining room (and dance floor) is what Simon calls the listening lounge, a space where Super Whatnot’s music legacy lives on, complete with leather banquettes, acoustic panelling and a pair of timber Pitt & Giblin speakers. Vinyl DJs will take to the listening lounge’s decks each weekend, drawing from their own collections and Flying Colours’ growing in-house selection, curated with the assistance of Waiting Room RecordsJet Black Cat Music and Dutch Vinyl. An upstairs mezzanine level will be transformed into a private event space, but can also be used as overflow or extra dining space in case of inclement weather.

One of the driving factors behind Simon’s choice to change gears was a desire to make food a bigger focus of his offering. Renowned chef Adam Wolfers has worked with Simon and Flying Colours head chef Andy Birse (ex-e’cco and Long Apron) in a consultant role, helping craft a menu that is fresh, fun and full of flavour. Groups can get around snacky options of charcuterie and cheese, hash browns crowned with smoked mullet roe and egg salad, Abrolhos Island scallop crudo, and smoked mussels with almond cream, or folks can fly solo with a Flying Colours hot dog boasting a smoked pork-cheek frank. Those with larger appetites can divvy up plates of Little Acre mushrooms with egg yolk and Jerusalem artichoke, market fish swimming in smoked-butter sauce, and pork cotoletto with winter greens. While Super Whatnot championed craft beer in its early days, Simon is steering Flying Colours in a different direction. “This venue’s very much about wine – natural leaning, low-intervention wine that’s primarily Australian made,” says Simon. “The ethos is centred around showcasing smaller producers that are as local as possible.” The wine list is led by a chilled red and aromatic white from Jilly Wine Co. available on tap by the glass or carafe, while the broader selection features banger after banger from the likes of Soumah WinesBasket RangeCré WinesKonpira MaruCobaw Ridge and Good Intentions Wine Co, to name a few. The bar will also dispense Bizzarro cocktails on tap alongside brews from Yulli’s Brews, Aether Brewing and Land and Sea, a tight list of eight cocktails and a considered array on non-alcoholic sips. Early feedback indicates that Simon’s new venue passes with, well, flying colours. But else what would you expect from a venue from one of the best in the game, dedicated to serving good food and drink, good times, and good music?

Flying Colours is now open to the public. Head to the Stumble Guide for menu details, operating times and other important info.

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

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