Caxton Street’s Americana-inspired icon Lefty’s Music Hall reopens
Don your dancing shoes and affix your spurs – Petrie Terrace’s beloved honky-tonk saloon Lefty’s Music Hall is reopening this week! If you’ve been craving some combination of American-style snacks, a refreshing whisky apple cocktail and some raucous rockabilly-laced revelry, be sure to present yourself suited and booted at Lefty’s today, Thursday February 27.
If any building on Caxton Street has seen its fair share of wild nights, it’s the old Baroona Hall. The character-filled heritage-listed building has been home to many businesses in its century-spanning existence, evolving in lockstep with Caxton Street’s own transition from hub of commerce to popular nightlife strip. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, the building was utilised as a live-music hotspot, which hosted performances by iconic Brisbane groups The Saints and The Go-Betweens before the 90s saw the venue house a succession of nightclubs. It wasn’t until 2014 that Baroona Hall pivoted away from its louche incarnation back towards a live-music offering, when Jamie Webb nabbed the building and transformed it into the lively nightspot we know and love, Lefty’s Music Hall. Recent years have seen ownership of Lefty’s Music Hall change hands, and at the end of 2019 it seemed like Lefty’s tenure on Caxton Street was coming to an end. Thankfully, Lefty’s lives on – late last year Hallmark Group Australia (the operators behind Finn McCool’s, Retro’s Cocktail Lounge and Jamie’s Italian) took over and, after a few months of anticipation, the team are set to officially reopen Lefty’s Music Hall to the public today, Thursday February 27.
Those of you fretting about the prospect of the new ownership messing with Lefty’s booze-soaked DNA need not fear – the Hallmark Group were head over heels in love with the bar’s jaunty individuality and old-timey decor. As such, the group is keen to retain as much of Lefty’s original charm, from the bar offering and live-music roster to the bar’s layout and bang-up saloon aesthetic. The red walls, chandeliers, gold-rimmed mirrors, leather booths, taxidermy animals and stage of Lefty’s central dance hall have been retained (a new lick of paint and some fresh carpet has been added, though), alongside the nautical-inspired vibe in the Mermaid Lounge, located upstairs. One of the few new-look elements is Lefty’s front bar – now known as the Cactus Bar – a contemporary amalgam of dusty tequila joints and laid-back tiki bars.
As for the food and drink, the Hallmark Group is also retaining much of Lefty’s beloved snacks and libations. The main bar boasts beer lines pouring Brooklyn Lager, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Red Stripe, not to mention an amply stocked back bar flush with spirits. Speaking of spirits, yes, the signature whisky apple will be available! Upstairs at the Mermaid Lounge, guests will be able to sip on sugar-cane agricole and rum-based cocktails, while the Cactus Bar is where you’ll find top-shelf tequilas and mezcal. When it comes to the grub, the Lefty’s kitchen is sticking to its Americana roots, cooking up a range of bar-appropriate eats – we’re talking cheeseburgers, buffalo wings, hot dogs, loaded fries and the new cheeseburger spring rolls made using top-grade Angus mince. Geoff Trio of Code One has been enlisted as Lefty’s Music Hall’s booking agent, and he has started curating a calendar of free and ticketed gigs from local and international rockabilly, blues and roots, jazz and country acts.
Lefty’s Music Hall officially reopens today, Thursday February 27. For more 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.