Hidden hip-hop bar Next Episode opens on Fish Lane
Regardless of whether you prefer Biggie or 2Pac, rep NWA or the Wu-Tang Clan, jam out to old-school hits or the new flavour, Brisbane hip-hop lovers of all kinds now have a watering hole to call their own. Tucked away in the back streets of South Brisbane, Next Episode is a secretive speakeasy that must be found before it can be enjoyed. It’s a bit tricky to find, but once you spot the neon signage and punch in the entry code, you’ll be free to enjoy house-party vibes, specialty cocktails and the greatest hip-hop hits spinning all night.
Steve Pelecas is a hip-hop fanatic through and through, but it was only after immersing himself in New York City’s famed bar scene did the idea to pair cocktails and hip-hop together first emerge. The scissor smith behind sharp barber outlets such as The Men’s Lounge Barber in Paddington and Barber Girl in Bulimba is trying his hand at the hospitality game with his first bar Next Episode, combining his love for old-school hip-hop jams, fresh cuts and New York’s diverse hospitality for Fish Lane’s mysterious newcomer. Alongside co-owner Jonny Garrison, Steve has installed the bar behind a pop-up barbershop space at the Cordelia Street end of Fish Lane, cheekily keeping details limited aside from the unconventional entry requirements. A neon-pink sign and an illuminated barber’s pole are the only indicators that Next Episode even exists, and brave patrons must enter through barbershop and punch in a special code on a telephone to gain entry beyond. Once you do, you’ll be greeted by a grungy industrial space – an intimate 35-seater venue boasting detailed murals of rap stars illuminated by more pink neon.
Next Episode’s neon-jungle aesthetic sets a mood reminiscent of an intimate house party rather than a run-of-the-mill cocktail bar, but the drinks are still of a high hospitality standard. The cocktail list boasts signature concoctions and twists on the classics, with drinks named after iconic rappers ranging from the Cali Love espresso martini to the Hendricks Lamar and Next Episode’s take on Gin & Juice. A back bar features a concise collection of spirits, wine and champagne, while a fridge full of tins is supplemented by four taps given to craft beers. Those that fancy a snack can order food from Big Roddy’s Rippin’ Rib Shack nearby. As for the barbershop out front, well, it’s not just for decoration. The cosy nook will act as a pop-up space, hosting barbers on occasion in the near future.
Next Episode is open on Fish Line. Feel free to go exploring, for scour the Stumble Guide for more details.
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