Hello 2018! New restaurants, bars and cafes to get excited about this year
We know it’s only the second week of January but we’re calling it – 2018 is going to be a big one for Brisbane food. The year ahead is shaping up to include some of the most highly anticipated openings we’ve seen in a while, and our mouths have already begun watering at the thought. We’ve looked back on past issues of Pavement Whispers (and thrown in a couple of sneaky new announcements for good measure) to round-up the new Brisbane restaurants, bars, cafes and precincts to get excited about this year.
Howard Smith Wharves, Fortitude Valley
We first wrote about this project back in 2014, so it goes without saying that the redevelopment of the Howard Smith Wharves is pretty highly anticipated. Due to open late this year, the lifestyle, dining and tourism destination will reactivate 3.4 hectares of riverside beneath the Story Bridge and Fortitude Valley cliffs, and be home to a mammoth craft brewery, a packed-schedule of events and festivals, and a collection of exciting restaurants and bars. In addition to a boutique Arts Series Hotel, Howard Smith Wharves will be home to a new Greek restaurant and bar concept from Jonathan Barthelmess (behind The Apollo, The Apollo Ginza and Cho Cho San), Japanese izakaya Toko Brisbane by Matt Yazbek (a sibling to its Sydney and Melbourne venues), 180-seat Hong Kong-inspired eatery Stanley from Brisbane restaurateurs Andrew and Jaimee Baturo (Popolo, The Gresham), and the Overwater Bar, an impressive octagon-shaped bar set under the bridge.
New project from Jerome Batten, Fortitude Valley
Exact details are still yet to be revealed, but Jerome Batten, together with executive chef Phil Marchant and bar manager Ed Quatermass, is busy working on a new restaurant and bar project on Fortitude Valley’s Robertson Street. A 2018 opening has been confirmed and with venues Sourced Grocer, Gauge and Maker already to his name, this is one to put at the top of your must-try list.
California Lane, Fortitude Valley
California Lane is the next exciting venture for the Apostolos family (Bakery and Winn Lanes) in Fortitude Valley, due for completion in mid-2018. Running parallel to Brunswick Street connecting Ann and McLachlan, California Lane will have a distinct 1960s West Coast feel, complete with palm trees and retro details. Once complete, the lane will be home to six new retail tenancies on the ground floor, offices above and new alfresco dining areas for the Brunswick Street restaurants that back onto the lane, including Fat Dumpling, Ltd Espresso and Giardinetto. Much like its sibling lanes, California will include a diverse mix of independent operators, embracing the culture and creativity of Brisbane.
New modern Chinese from the Rick Shores team, Fortitude Valley
Exciting news for fans of Rick Shores in Burleigh Heads – the team behind the esteemed venue is working on a new eatery on Warner Street in Fortitude Valley, this time taking on modern Chinese cuisine. This as-yet-unnamed restaurant will serve up scrumptious servings of dim sum and yum cha, with a menu overseen by Rick Shores head chef Jake Pregnell. The restaurant will be situated in a new laneway precinct occupying the old Troubadour laneway, and will boast an outdoor bar area, 80-patron capacity restaurant and a private dining space upstairs that can seat 40.
Honto, Fortitude Valley
Details are still very under wraps for Honto, but we can confirm that the new Japanese-style venture from the team behind LONgTIME is opening in Fortitude Valley this year. We’ll have more on this as soon as it’s revealed!
Emporium Hotels Dining, South Bank
After hanging up his hat as GOMA Restaurant’s executive chef, Josue Lopez announced in September last year he would be heading up all dining operations at Anthony John Group’s Emporium Hotels, based at the new flagship hotel in South Bank. The breadth of his talents will be showcased in the yet-to-be-named signature restaurant, as well as the piano bar, rooftop bar, Belle Époque Patisserie (the second for the group), in-suite dining, and conferencing and events.
e’cco bistro, Newstead
In December 2017 we said goodbye to e’cco bistro’s Brisbane City venue but it wasn’t filled with too much sorrow – the Brisbane institution is due to reopen on March 1 beneath the Haven apartments in Newstead. Head chef Simon Palmer, who joined the team in June 2015, will remain and you can expect a familiar sophisticated bistro-style menu and a number of new dishes, but in a more relaxed and casual setting.
Range Brewing, Newstead
Each year we continue to see our local craft-brewing scene grow here in Brisbane, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down in 2018. Range Brewing is taking shape on Byres Street in Newstead, due to open in mid-autumn. The brewery will focus on small-batch hoppy, dark and sour beers, with the beer selection, recipes and approaches constantly evolving. The beers will be served alongside simple pizzas created by internal kitchen The Squid and The Ferret, made from slow-rising sourdough.
Dicki’s, New Farm
You don’t have to wait long for this one – vegan cafe Dicki’s is due to open in New Farm in the coming weeks. The cafe comes from Zulueta siblings Lexi, Justine, Choy and Diana, and pays homage to the family’s first vegan, their father Dicki. The all-day menu will feature plant-based versions of cafe classics and favourites, promising nourishing dishes that will appeal to both vegans and meat eaters alike.
Stavros the Greek, Kenmore
Also due to open in the coming weeks, Stavros the Greek is the latest project from Renata Roberts, the brains behind Sichuan Bang Bang and Pizzeria Violetta. The eatery will sit just a few doors down from Renata’s original venues on Kenmore’s Wongabel Street and will serve up modern Greek eats – think charred seafood, blistering fried sheep’s milk cheeses, slow-roasted lamb shoulder, succulent souvlaki, house-made Greek ice-cream and desserts served to the soundtrack of traditional Greek beats pumping from the 70s sound system.
Also keep an eye out for …
Alphabet Cafe, West End
Bordertown, Brisbane City
Cali Eatery & Bar, Kangaroo Point
Munich Brauhaus, South Bank
Rockpool Dining Group Beerhaus initiative, Bowen Hills
Special Rub, Coorparoo
Spice Den Spire, Brisbane City
Tai Tai, South Bank
W Brisbane’s signature restaurant, Brisbane City
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.