Get the first look at Hey Chica! – the new social club bringing Havana street-party vibes to The Valley
If you happen to be walking down Brunswick Street Mall next Friday September 17 and you hear the sound of trumpets, bongos and percussion reverberating along the strip, don’t stress – you’re not imagining things. That is simply the sound of the riotous celebrations marking the official opening night of Hey Chica!, Fortitude Valley’s brand-new drinking, dining and dancing destination. The latest venture from the team behind Lefty’s Music Hall is a paean to the party culture of Cuba – a raucous hub of revelry that is as close as you’ll get to the street festivals of Havana without boarding a plane.
Between Lefty’s Music Hall’s rockabilly Americana and Retro’s Cocktail Lounge’s thumping club anthems, the Hallmark Group knows how to create a killer vibe. The hospitality crew, which also operates Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, and Asylum Nightclub on the Gold Coast, is drawing inspiration from Latin America (or, more specifically, Cuba) for its newest venue Hey Chica!, which is set to officially launch next Friday September 17. Cuba is a melting pot of cultural influences, with elements of Spanish and Caribbean heritage seeping into the fabric of the nation’s identity. As a result, Cuba is a culturally rich nation with a storied history as a vibrant hub of hospitality and festivity, and the country’s capital Havana is the epicentre of such activity. Hey Chica! draws plenty of inspiration from Havana’s incendiary nightlife for its own aesthetic and offering, transplanting the energy of lively street parties to the heart of Brisbane’s nightlife nexus. Located on Brunswick Street Mall opposite the Fortitude Music Hall, Hey Chica! will lure in guests with the sound of pulsating salsa-inflected beats and the promise of expertly crafted cocktails and aromatic share plates. Once there, patrons will be enamoured with Hey Chica!’s contemporary spin on Havana’s old-world charm. A kaleidoscopic use of colour – think hues of deep green, blue, gold, yellow and red – makes every surface pop, while eye-catching murals, neon lights and swirling blue and purple strobes add to the vivacious energy of the space. An impressive main bar will be a hive of activity, while cushy leather booths, a separate laneway space (with its own bar) and a mall-facing outdoor area offers plenty of room for people watching, cocktail sipping and menu browsing.
A late-night social club at heart, Hey Chica!’s offering is spearheaded by an extensive menu of colourful Latin American-inspired concoctions geared towards fuelling a fun night out. Cocktail seekers will swoon at the sight of the selection, which includes signatures and riffs on familiar faves. Standouts include the Hemingway Daiquiri (an ode to the Havana-loving writer made from maraschino liqueur and pink grapefruit), Zacapa Old Fashioned (a zesty blend of rum, bitters and a tinge of orange), the Havana Colada (a Hey Chica! spin on the classic made with Bacardi White Rum, pineapple, fresh coconut cream and tangy lemon), a quenching watermelon-and-basil sour, and the Smokey Cuban (a heady blend of mezcal, Triple Sec, pineapple and cinnamon). Of course, it’s not a party without margaritas – Hey Chica! boasts three kinds on its menu, as well as watermelon and strawberry frosé, which will no doubt be a refreshing choice come summer. If your group chat is popping off with excitement at the sound of the above, wait until everyone gets a look at Hey Chica!’s food menu. Tasty bites like chicharron (crispy pork belly with sofrito mayo), kingfish ceviche and lambondigas (lamb meatballs served in a Cuban tomato sofrito) make for great appetisers, while jackfruit or braised-brisket nachos, crispy battered flathead tacos and grilled striploin with Cuban salad and chimichurri (with a serve of plantain chips on the side) are perfect for replenishing post-boogie energy levels. If you don’t feel like sharing, Hey Chica!’s menu also features Cubano sandwiches, bowls and salads that will conquer any hunger level.
Hey Chica! will open to the public on Friday September 17, so mark it in your calendars. Be sure to follow Hey Chica! on Instagram and check the Stumble Guide for more operating hours and menu details.
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