Get excited for the new restaurants, bars and cafes opening in 2019
It’s going to be a tall order to top the banner year Brisbane’s dining scene had in 2018, but we truly believe that this year is going to be just as exciting for foodies. We know it’s only January, but there are numerous openings on the horizon that have got us keyed up with anticipation. We’ve assembled a handy list of announcements to keep an eye on, including brand-new dining precincts, inner-city wineries, riverside eateries and much more.
Howard Smith Wharves, Brisbane City
When it comes to high-profile hospitality arrivals, the launch of Howard Smith Wharves was arguably one of the biggest moments of 2018, but the precinct is far from complete – there are still a bunch of eateries to open in the first half of 2019. Following on from the first wave of openings – Felons Brewing Co., Mr Percival’s and Greca – will be the imminent launch of ARC Dining + Wine Bar, helmed by head chef Alanna Sapwell and sommelier Ian Trickle, and handy pit-stop Harry’s Liquor and Delicatessen. In a few months, Matt Yazbek’s contemporary Japanese restaurant Toko Brisbane and Andrew and Jamiee Baturo’s Hong Kong-inspired locale Stanley will join the assembly, setting Howard Smith Wharves as one of Brisbane’s must-visit food hubs.
Ada Lane, Fortitude Valley
Last year James Street was irrevocably changed for the better when highly anticipated urban resort The Calile opened to the public. Beverly Hills extravagance met brutalist minimalism for what is already a modern landmark, but the Calile Malouf Investments group is far from finished. Ada Lane is a street-level dining strip adjacent to The Calile’s main entry, which will offer five new food and drink options housed within a Richards and Spence-designed structure, continuing the lush and natural aesthetic of James Street’s fashionable hub. While no details have been offered as to what sort of operators will occupy Ada Lane’s tenancies, we can rest assured that they’ll be worthy of James Street’s new standard.
The Fortitude Valley Music Hall, Fortitude Valley
Brisbane’s live-music scene is set to score a gargantuan new resident later in the year, with The Fortitude Valley Music Hall currently under construction in the heart of Brunswick Street Mall. John ‘JC’ Collins (of Brisbane icons Powderfinger and owner of The Triffid), Paul Piticco (co-founder of Secret Sounds) and Scott Hutchison (chairman of Hutchinson Builders) are teaming up for the sizeable venue, which is being designed by Andrew Gutteridge from Arkhefield. We’ve been told to expect an Art Deco-inspired façade, a mixed-use retail and events space, as well as food and beverage options. Mantle Hospitality Group has signed on to open The Sound Garden, a two-storey restaurant boasting an open-air rooftop bar and balcony overlooking the Brunswick Street Mall, offering gig goers a place to pep up or cool down pre- and post-show.
Death & Taxes, Brisbane City
Hot off the press from Pavement Whispers this week – Martin Lange (the brains behind Cobbler, Savile Rowand Finney Isles) is currently working on a new project named Death & Taxes. Due to open March 1 in Burnett Lane, the moody cocktail bar will have a strong spirit focus, with the four-metre-tall back bar highlighting whisky as well as gin, rum, tequila and mescal. Famed for their cocktails, Martin and his team have concocted an inventive 30-strong flavour-driven list, presented alongside a contemporary and sometimes-unusual wine selection. Food will be available from nearby eateries, including neighbour Alba – read on to find out more.
Alba, Brisbane City
Next door to Death & Taxes on Burnett Lane will be Spanish delicatessen-style tapas bar Alba, also due to open in March. Alba is the first solo venture from chef Jamie Fleming, who has taken inspiration from the old town of San Sebastián. The bar will be open from midday to midnight, serving a selection of house-made Spanish ‘bocadillo’ sandwiches, bite-sized pintxos and tinned fish alongside a curated selection of Spanish wine, cider and sherry- and wine-based cocktails. Alba will feature a ten-metre-long bar, half of which will be dedicated to the bar, the other half to an open kitchen, allowing patrons to watch all of the action.
Maeve, South Brisbane
The Fish Lane precinct is continuing to grow, with March seeing the opening of Maeve in the heritage-listed Queensland National Bank building on the corner of Melbourne and Grey Streets. The European-style wine bar is the latest project from the brains behind Hello Please, with chef Jessie Stevens heading up the food offering and wine directed by former Movida Melbourne wine buyer Eleanor Cappa. Eleanor is in the process of creating a diverse wine list with strong European highlights and what promises to be an impressive reserve list, which will be paired with a selection of grazing or more substantial dishes. Patrons can opt to sip and snack at the 20-seater bar, or settle in for a meal in the dining room. Maeve’s kitchen will be open from 4:00 pm until late, perfect for both pre- or post-theatre dining.
City Winery, Fortitude Valley
Just like any good vintage, excellence can’t be rushed. The crew behind Gerler wines has been keeping us thirsty for details of its anticipated inner-city winery, but kept us interested by opening its cellar door Carl’s in Newstead last year. As of the January 2019, we now know that City Winery will be situated on Wandoo Street in Fortitude Valley, and will boast a barrel room, winery, modern-Australian restaurant The Barrelroom, private dining room and cellar. No official opening date has been released yet, but it’s so close we can almost taste the wine.
Stone & Wood Brewery, Fortitude Valley
Beloved craft-beer operation Stone & Wood continues to grow from strength to strength, blossoming from fledgling froth fanatics to a nationwide powerhouse. Last year saw the crew open a new brewery in Byron Bay and celebrate ten years of operation, so it makes you wonder how such a big year can be topped. Well, Stone & Wood are looking to make permanent inroads in the Brisbane drinking scene, announcing last year that it would be opening a small brewery on the fringe of Fortitude Valley sometime in 2019. The crew are hard at work converting a gorgeous building on Bridge Street, and will reportedly house a small brewery, event space and tasting room.
Speaking of new breweries, Brisbane will soon be the recipient of a huge new brewery from globally recognised craft-beer monolith Brewdog. Back in February 2018 the brand pegged Brisbane as the home of its new $30 million brewing hub and canning facility. The Murrarie-based development was scheduled for completion by late 2018 and is tentatively slated to open early this year. We can’t wait! Not only will the facility brew and distributed the brand’s famed range of core beers (as well as small-batch brews using ingredients sourced from the Southern Hemisphere), but we can also expect it to house a restaurant, taproom and visitor centre.
Joy Restaurant, Fortitude Valley
Bakery Lane will welcome a new addition in the coming months, with Joy Restaurant set to open by March this year. The intimate hideaway is the brainchild of Tim and Sarah Scott, two adventurous hospitality veterans who have spent a considerable amount of time working in top-notch Sydney venues, including Sepia, Automata and Sixpenny. Joy Restaurant aims to remove the divide between front and back of house, with patrons sitting amongst the action of the kitchen while they dine. Seating only ten diners, Joy guarantees an intimate experience, with Tim and Sarah doing everything themselves. The menu will have a distinct Japanese influence, prepared with local Australian ingredients and Scandinavian techniques.
IKU, Brisbane City
North Quay’s Brisbane Quarter certainly made some waves in Brisbane City’s dining scene last year, and there’s still more to come. Late February will see the opening of IKU, a Japanese noodle bar from the family behind Gasworks’ Reef Seafood & Sushi. IKU will draw on a ‘Subway-style’ concept, where customers can choose their noodle base, style of soup and fillings to build their own noodle bowls – think thick, thin and low-carb kelp noodles, dashi, curry or miso soup, and proteins such as chicken, wagyu beef or salmon. Although quick, IKU won’t compromise on authenticity – long-time Reef chef Shigeki Uno has based the menu on his traditional Japanese family recipes.
New project from Ben Williamson, Fortitude Valley
When lauded chef Ben Williamson announced his departure after six incredible years at Gerard’s Bistro, we couldn’t help but wonder what he had in store next. While Ben is still keeping the details of his next venture close to his chest, we can reveal that it will be opening late mid-year and will be located in Fortitude Valley. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we know more!
Also keep an eye out for …
Harvest on Queen, Brisbane City
Bellissimo Coffee, Coorparoo
Trash Taco, Fortitude Valley
Aether Brewing, Northgate
New project from Jerome Batten, Fortitude Valley
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