Fortitude Valley’s pub culture born again with the arrival of the Osbourne Hotel
Don’t worry – we’re not going to beat you over the head with puns about rebirth. That being said, we do want to talk about a significant metamorphosis that has been going on in The Valley. Like a caterpillar cocooning itself and emerging as a beautiful butterfly, the heritage-listed Osbourne Hotel on the corner of Ann and Constance Streets has been transformed into a truly impressive destination pub, boasting everything from a leisurely beer-garden atmosphere to a seductive lounge-bar vibe. Officially opening today Friday October 6, the Osbourne Hotel is a crisp new addition to The Valley’s array of watering holes, pairing history with modernity in fine form.
If you’ve lived in Brisbane for more than a few decades, you’d have a passing familiarity with the Osbourne Hotel. It’s worn a few hats in its 153-year lifespan – as The Dead Rat, The Rat & Parrot and as Fringe Bar and Kerbside – but now it’s returned to its original moniker to coincide with its new lease on life. The Fitzgibbon family (owners of pubs in Toowoomba, Southport and Maroochydoore, to name a few) decided that the space deserved a bit of TLC, choosing to overhaul the entire venue and its concept to pay tribute to the building’s storied past while bringing it in to the 21st century with style.
Anyone familiar with the old Fringe Bar and Kerbside space will notice that a lot has changed. Over a period of months throughout 2017 the hotel was stripped back to facilitate its considerable overhaul. The building’s original colourings and fittings were reinstated and a space beside the hotel reclaimed and transformed into a commodious beer garden and bistro portion called ‘The Outside’, where upwards of 400 patrons can sip and snack at communal tables or leather booths. Two bespoke copper bulkheads dominate The Outside’s bar fixtures, and feature a seriously impressive array of beer taps (the entire venue has 94 taps across the whole venue). The interior of the Osbourne Hotel features an eclectic selection of furniture, with tropical patterns and strip lighting adding flashes of colour around the inner bar, which is stocked with an impressive array of bottles itself. Above the rabble, the upstairs function rooms have also been transformed into a collection of meeting rooms and private dining spaces.
The food and drink
You’ve already heard that the Osbourne Hotel has a lot of taps to try (remember – 94 taps!), and boy is there some variety! Sip on dozens of craft, local and international beers, or opt for something else entirely. A boutique wine list features drops from top Australian winemakers including Murdoch Hills, BK Wines, Yelland and Paps and Some Young Punks. Cocktails and spirits are also on offer for the sophisticated sippers amongst you, with The Osbourne G&T sitting pretty as the venue’s signature concoction. Head chef Jamie MacKinney has put together a menu with wide appeal, with top-notch fare including char-grilled steaks, oysters, peking duck spring rolls, sweet potato and cashew empanadas, cheese kranskies featuring alongside unique wrinkles such as Spanish sardines served on sourdough and pizzas served until late. Pub classics such as burgers, steaks and wings feature on a dedicated lunch menu, while coffee and doughnuts are available in the morning.
The Osbourne Hotel is officially open to the public! To find out more details, find the venue in our Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 1800 places to eat, drink, shop and play.