Pavement Whispers: first details revealed for the GPO precinct’s new residents – TAMA, The Gatsby and The Tax Office
One of the hottest topics in Brisbane dining right now is the progress of the $9-million rejuvenation of Fortitude Valley’s iconic GPO building. After months of drip-fed news bites and secrecy, Artesian Hospitality is finally putting speculation to rest by revealing some tasty teaser info regarding the site’s three soon-to-open concepts. In June the team will unveil elevated restaurant TAMA and upscale bar and lounge The Gatsby, with striking sipping spot The Tax Office expected to follow in the ensuing months. Here’s what we know …
Ever since Artesian Hospitality announced it had taken over custodianship of the heritage-listed Fortitude Valley GPO, details have been kept hush-hush regarding the direction of the site’s $9-million revitalisation process and the identity of the venues supplanting the high-BPM predecessor that previously called the building home. In December of 2022, the group announced the appointment of acclaimed sommelier and former OTTO Brisbane general manager Alan Hunter as director of restaurant operations, as well as chef Richard Ousby (formerly of Stokehouse Melbourne and Brisbane) as the hub’s executive chef. Securing the services of these big names hinted at bigger things to come, and now Artesian Hospitality has revealed the names and some details of Fortitude Valley GPO’s next residents – TAMA, The Gatsby and The Tax Office. In a statement, the Gold Coast-born hospitality group, which operates southern locales Cali Beach Club and Surfers Pavilion, announced that it is collaborating with The Royal Historical Society of Queensland, Brisbane City Council, heritage architects, Zero9 Constructions and Space Cubed Design Studio to meticulously restore building’s elegant original elements. In addition to preserving the structure’s 1887 Victorian Italianate facade, balconies, stairwells, ceilings, exposed beams and brick walls, high-end finishes like hand-beaten copper detailing, one-off chandeliers and glass-art installations would ensure a sense of stately glamour would be instilled across the building’s various spaces.
To the same end, initial details regarding TAMA, The Gatsby and The Tax Office indicate that the Artesian crew are looking to match the GPO’s old-school charm by crafting concepts imbued with a similar style of grandeur. Elevated restaurant TAMA will occupy the ground floor and a mezzanine level, with soaring ceilings and double-storey windows adding to the impression-making decor of the interior, which will boast soft furnishings, stone and marble flooring and greenery – as well as original beams and custom chandeliers. The Gatsby, an upscale cocktail and whisky bar ideal for late-night libations, will be located on the upper level of the precinct, with leather accents, brass features and low-lying velvet booths melding with the glamorous architecture to create a brilliantly chic homage to the golden age of the 1920s. The original 1887 vault has also been carefully restored and primed for private tours after opening. The team is remaining tight-lipped on The Tax Office, but renders showing off an impressive island bar, luxe lounge area and glamorous old-world aesthetic hint at the high-end nature of the concept.
TAMA and The Gatsby are anticipating an early June 2023 opening, with information on the food and beverage offering expected to be revealed in the coming weeks. Rest assured we’ll have more details on these exciting additions as they emerge.
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