Old meets new at Brisbane City’s subterranean saloon Miss Demeanour
The Rowes Arcade building on Edward Street boasts a strong hospitality lineage stretching back to the early 1900s. From the landmark 380-seater Rowe’s Cafe (named after hospitality icon Minna Rowe), all the way through to the days of Rosie’s Nightclub and Sonny’s House of Blues, the heritage-listed building has housed its fare share of daytime and late-night destinations. The latest in this long line of hotspots – Miss Demeanour – is dipping into this heritage, paying homage to what’s come before while still firmly looking toward the future with an all-day (and night) offering that boasts a welcoming and cheeky appeal.
Brisbane City’s laneway scene is thriving. Following on from the recent activity on Burnett Lane, FudoDori’s landmark arrival and whispers of another laneway possibly taking shape off Elizabeth Street, there’s never been a better time to go wandering. Rowes Lane off Edward Street might look like it only leads to a dead end, but cast your eye along the wall of Rowes Arcade and you’ll spot the understated entrance to Miss Demeanour. The newest multi-faceted venue to open in the CBD is a charming subterranean saloon-meets-cafe, where history and modernity collide and a wide-reaching food and drink offering boasts something for all comers. Miss Demeanour is the brainchild of three hospitality veterans, who have spent the past three years putting the pieces in place for the concept. The team has pooled its collective know-how into a singular vision, honing in on a visual aesthetic that respects and celebrates the natural beauty of the space, while offering its own interpretation on what a modern eatery and bar could be.
Miss Demeanour’s first reference to the past comes at the entrance stairwell, which has been coated in a mural of painted roses (paying tribute to the Rowe family) from Brisbane-based artist Matt Stewart. Once your eyes adjust to Miss Demeanour’s mood-lit interior, you’ll notice that the crew has stripped back much of the artifice from the venue’s previous iterations. Gone is the dive-bar aesthetic – Miss Demeanour boasts approachable class thanks to the team’s revival of several heritage elements. Sturdy sandstone walls form the backdrop for Miss Demeanours understated look, which features black leather booths, timber furnishings, an expanded kitchen and a brand-new sound system for the stage. The venue actually boasts two entrances, with a second entry point equipped with a lift for wheelchair access.
The food and drink
The food and drink offering at Miss Demeanour stretches from early morning into the late evening, with inclusivity being the core focus and connecting element throughout. Half of the menu is vegetarian friendly, while vegan and gluten-free options also feature with regularity. The breakfast fare is a notch above the grab-and-go sustenance common at most inner-city coffee nooks, with sit-down options such as five-seed avocado bruschetta, peanut butter and caramelised banana waffles, and protein pancakes perfect for starting the day off right. The venue has recruited a local coffee roaster to concoct a signature blend for the caffeine component. MD Coffee Roasters is a silky and rich blend that draws its beans from Brazil, Peru and Cuba. As the day progresses, the kitchen team flexes its culinary muscle with artfully presented dishes including wild-caught Australian king snapper, slow-braised beef brisket, salt-baked beetroot and crispy pork belly with butternut and sage puree. A series of share plates and snacks pair perfectly with a drink or two – think crispy chicken wings (or cauliflower wings, if preferred), loaded potato skins and three-cheese croquettes. Miss Demeanour’s wide-ranging approachability also extends to the bar, where offbeat craft tinnies share fridge space with mainstream brews. The back bar is stocked with an impressive array of Australian and international spirits (distilled into a menu of classic and signature cocktails), while a balanced wine list boasts hidden treasures such as a chilled red from LATTA.
Miss Demeanour’s offering will soon include entertainment, with DJs and live-music performances scheduled to kick off in the near future. For opening hours and contact details, click on over to the Stumble Guide.
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