West End’s Jugar is a family-friendly playground fit for young and old
Parents know how tricky it can be to wrangle their brood for an outing, especially one to a local cafe or restaurant. Child-friendly cafes and restaurants are life savers for families, but all too often they fail to properly cater for both kids and adults. Jugar (pronounced ‘hewy-gahr – Spanish for play) is a brand-new eatery in West End that is committed to providing a place to eat, play and drink for families, and it only takes a quick look inside to see that the venue means business. A built-in playground, sublime specialty coffee and an impressive menu of food and drink means that Jugar has got everything you need, whether you’re four or forty.
The inspiration for West End cafe Jugar came three years ago when co-owner Corsino Solares welcomed his newborn daughter to the world. As someone who enjoyed venturing out on weekends to cafes and restaurants, Corsino soon realised that there were limited options for families when it came to child-friendly hotspots. A few years down the line and the scene hadn’t improved, so Corsino and his sister Jennifer Perkins decided to pool their respective expertise in hospitality and childcare to create a spot that catered to parents and children equally. Jugar’s offering is predicated on three core areas of focus – eat, play and drink. Corsino and Jennifer envisioned a venue that could offer a stellar selection of family-friendly eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner, bolstered by a strong coffee and alcohol selection and top-of-the-line play areas to keep kids engaged and occupied. West End proved to be the ideal area to unveil the idea, and after a brief search Corsino and Jennifer took over the Colossus Hall, located a short distance from Davies Park and West End State School.
The bones of the Colossus Hall offered plenty of space with which to work, and Corsino and Jennifer recruited interior designer Alexa Nice and Benjamin Sutcliffe of Inspired Built to help actualise their vision for the fit-out both inside and out. The interior boasts a neutral colour palette of hardwood floors, soft pinks, blues and marble, plus high ceilings and an open-plan layout, giving families an inviting space to move about in. Cushy banquette seating adorns one wall of the venue, while eight spacious booths (with wide aisles for pram movement) occupy the middle. A large enclosed play space will naturally draw the attention of little ones, with high- and low-tempo play areas visible to parents while they dine. The team from Ausplay Playscapes has designed the high-tempo elements, constructing a purpose-built playground featuring a cubby house, hut, gantry, slide, climbing wall and a tunnel for kids to explore. Jennifer oversaw the low-tempo areas, adding a rotating selection of engaging activities to occupy little hands. Outside is a sunny al fresco dining area, and nearby is an infant play spot with padded mats and mobiles.
The food and drink
Jugar’s food and drink menu amply caters for big and little appetites no matter the time of day, with something to satisfy fussy eaters of all ages. The kid’s menu offers breakfast and lunch options such as coconut black-rice pudding, buttermilk pancakes, bacon bennies, mini cheeseburgers, gnocchi mushroom Bolognese, roast-cauliflower bowls and margherita pizzas. Meanwhile adults can nosh on the likes of nduja scrambled eggs, kimchi pancakes, and taro-root panna cotta at breakfast, alongside barista-poured cups of Bellissimo Coffee and cold-pressed juices. The selection pivots on Friday and Saturday nights, with a evening menu shifting to offer small and large tapas for sharing, including venison tartare, fried pepper-berry squid, pork rillettes, slow-braised lamb shoulder, pan-fried snapper and charcuterie platters. Parents craving a tipple (let’s be real – you’ve earned it) can sip on more than ten classic cocktails, craft and mainstream beers, wines and spirits.
Jugar is open now on Jane Street in West End. For opening hours and contact details, head to the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.