Run to Paradise – Fortitude Valley’s charming new brunch spot
The corner of Alfred and Constance Street was once one of the buzziest hubs in Fortitude Valley. Since the closure of Alfredo’s, Kwan Brothers and Doughnut Time, several tenancies have sat idle, but two young and enterprising coffee lovers are injecting some new life into the strip with their cafe Paradise. After operating as a grab-and-go coffee and pastry pit-stop, Paradise has opened up its full interior, debuting a menu of wholesome eats conceived by a former MasterChef contestant and a welcoming space that’s easy on the eyes.
After a few years slinging coffee across Australia from the back of a repurposed caravan, Dutch and Bekky Brill were keen to plant some roots and establish something permanent. Inside both of them stirred a desire to create a space where they could build friendships and foster creativity in others – a place imbued with spirit and energy that also served heartwarming fare. Unfortunately for Dutch and Bekky, their big dreams were hampered by a tight budget, forcing the duo to search far and wide for a spot that would suit their vision without breaking the bank. Eventually, the forces that be directed them to Alfred Street in Fortitude Valley, where a ‘for lease’ sign in the window of the old Kwan Brothers space gave the couple a flicker of hope. While the Kwan Brothers space was just out of their price range, the venue’s landlord pitched the possibility of inhabiting the neighbouring Alfredo’s tenancy, which had sat dormant since the dissolution of Damian Griffiths’ hospitality group. Enamoured with the venue’s high ceilings and rustic bones, Dutch and Bekky jumped at the chance to take on the space, immediately planning a renovation phase that would transform the venue into their dream cafe. In order to save up the necessary funds to complete the overhaul, Dutch and Bekky set up a coffee machine and pastry cabinet in the street-facing window, hawking brew and bites to caffeine-starved locals while chipping away at the interior fit-out. After four months, Paradise officially opened the doors, inviting regulars and those passing by to check out what the crew had been working on behind the scenes …
After brushing out the cobwebs, Dutch and Bekky started adding elements to the space that would make it distinctly theirs. Taking a DIY approach, the duo resourcefully pieced together a coherent aesthetic that relayed a minimal but warm vibe, envisioning that it would be people that inevitably add the final splash of character. The main dining space is light filled, with a fresh lick of paint making the whites pop, contrasting the exposed brick and letting the tiled floors stick out. A close friend supplied quality timber for the tables, assembled and arranged by hand. An upstairs office space was transformed into a relaxed nook where Paradise’s guests could linger longer with their laptops, getting work done above the bustle of the main floor. Nearly complete, Bekky and Dutch added some finishing touches such as greenery and a few rustic light fixtures – finally, Paradise was ready to open.
The food and drink
When it came to the fare, Bekky and Dutch reached out to friend Chloe Bowles to helm the kitchen and craft a menu that suited the space. Chloe, a contestant of series eight of MasterChef in 2016, happily came aboard and got to work conceiving food that was hearty, but boasted an edge. While there is a thread of familiarity running throughout the menu, Chloe has aimed to sprinkle some creative elements to make the fare unique. Dishes such as the Eat Yo’ Greens (green pancake, poached egg, avocado, shaved zucchini), Crumpet Louder (crumpets with berry chia jam, almond praline, vanilla-bean labne) and the savoury matzo brei (a dish of Jewish origin boasting fried eggs, sauteed mushrooms, caramelised onion and chive creme) showcase Chloe’s creativity, while the price tag of each dish makes Paradise one of the most economical spots for breakfast going. Coffee has been supplied by Padre Coffee’s Noosa roastery, available across espresso, cold brew and pour-over varieties (a few single origins are also on offer). A selection of teas (fresh peppermint, ginger and orange, English breakfast), smoothies, sticky chai and lemon squash round out the drink selection – plenty of sipping material to please all tastes.
Paradise is open now! For operating hours and other tasty details, head to the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.