Pavement Whispers: Volume 331 October 26
From news of Bunker Coffee’s new salad and deli sibling to a South Brisbane wine store focusing on sustainability, The Weekend Edition is always on the search for the latest food news in Brisbane, dedicated to ensuring its readers are in the know. When we put our ears to the pavement this week, this is what we found out …
Bunker on Railway Terrace has been supplying Milton locals with a steady stream of specialty coffee for more than a decade. Even as the suburb has shifted and evolved around it, the pint-sized dispensary (and its sibling caffeine slinger Bessa Coffee, just around the corner on Cribb Street) has remained a dependable constant for local residents, office workers, weekend market goers and coffee purists. Owners Marcus and Rhianna Allison will soon add another community-minded destination to the street’s culinary cadre, complementing Bunker’s energising pick-me-ups with a range of grab-and-go goodies at Neighbour, a new kitchen and providore concept opening next door to Bunker in December. Located at the base of newly constructed 20-storey apartment building Aura, Neighbour will transform the empty ground-floor retail tenancy into a warm and inviting provisioner specialising in nourishing salads, tempting sweets, gourmet meats, picnic-perfect charcuterie and boutique wines. As new parents, Marcus and Rhianna figured that this kind of offering was perfectly suited to ease the load on similarly time-poor individuals. With this in mind, Neighbour will be all about improving access to hearty fare without the headache-inducing time constraints of making it. The couple has enlisted the talents of Florence and Felix for Goodness chef Sam Pethely as Neighbour’s culinary consultant, who will assist in the creation of Neighbour’s rotating range of Ottolenghi-inspired salads and house-made baked goods – the latter of which will include cabinet treats, savoury tarts and ‘take cakes’ (the kind of cake you can pick up and take to just about any celebration). Savoury sides like lamb koftas, saganaki and felafel balls will also be available for lunch eaters seeking a little bit extra. Pre-packaged ready-to-cook meat from Meat at Billy’s will make dinnertime decisions a cinch and soon Marcus and Rhianna will link up with a local baker to source loaves of sourdough for carb lovers. Neighbour will also sell a few local beers (think one sessionable option and a rotating experimental brew) as well as a tight range of new-age and natural wines (expect a sharp focus on vino from the Granite Belt) perfect for pre-dinner party or picnic pick ups. Rhianna, an architect with Conrad Gargett, is the driving force behind Neighbour’s look and feel, which will boast a warm aesthetic and a material palette featuring light Tasmanian oak, travertine bench tops and Austral Brick tiles. The fit-out process, executed by Unita, is underway – stay tuned for a closer look at Neighbour when it opens in December.
Half Moon Wine Store
Brisbane’s bottle shop scene will welcome a new player into its midst by year’s end, with Half Moon Wine Store gearing up to open its South Brisbane repository before Christmas. The store is the brainchild of Brisbane-born boys Jordan Shertock and Alex Farquhar, a pair of wine-savvy entrepreneurs recently returned to Queensland after stints working in Melbourne’s percolating wine scene. These young guns are making good on a long-held dream of opening a wine store, drawing upon their experience working across the industry to create a fresh-faced bottle shop geared towards making the buying experience accessible, approachable and enjoyable. Jordan and Alex are already hard at work piecing together Half Moon’s selection of stock, which will foreground organic, biodynamic and sustainably made wines from predominantly small producers and boutique importers. Half Moon will be transparent about its selections, eschewing buzzwords and marketing BS in favour of genuine salesmanship, passion and expertise. Shoppers can expect a good selection of Australian producers backed by a strong representation of imported Italian and French wines. Half Moon will also stock a curated array of craft beers as well as a cache of boutique amaro and vermouth. Although the bricks-and-mortar store is still a little while away, Half Moon Wine Store will launch its online arm within a month, offering free same-day delivery on orders within a 15-km radius. The selection will be slightly condensed compared to the physical store’s offering, though sippers will be able to snag mixed packs of top-notch drops to enjoy before the shop opens. Be sure to sign up to Half Moon’s mailing list for updates on its launch – we’ll have an up-close look at the store when it opens.
It has been a little while between drinks but, after nearly a year of inactivity, Fortitude Valley haunt Finn McCool’s is set to finally reopen. When the lively Irish pub sustained smoke and water damage after a fire broke out at a neighbouring premises last October, Finn McCool’s owners the Hallmark Group (Hey Chica!, Lefty’s Music Hall) decided to take the opportunity to revamp the entire bar. A 12-month repair and renovation process will reach its completion at 8:00 pm on Friday November 12, but Finn McCool’s will officially celebrate its reopening from 10:00 am on Saturday November 13 with a street party on Brunswick Street Mall – complete with pop-up bars (pouring plenty of Guinness), Irish dancers, pipe bands and live entertainment.
Frugal foodies in Brisbane have been quick to take advantage of the budget-friendly benefits of new ‘buy now, pay later’ app, Payo, which launched in Brisbane earlier this year. The handy program, which allows users to dine out at local eateries and divvy the bill across four interest-free fortnightly instalments, has resulted in a much-needed boost in trade for its Brisbane-based restaurant partners. Now, it’s the Gold Coast’s turn. Payo is officially launching on the Gold Coast today, Tuesday October 26, which coincides with the app’s debut in the Sydney and the Melbourne dining market. The app’s roster of restaurants, cafes and bars has blossomed in recent months, with more than 700 venues signed on across Australia. Gold Coast users will be able to search, book and pay via Payo at local establishments including The Henchman, Brazilian Flame, Fu Manchu, Vanitas at Palazzo Versace and Hanasaki Broadbeach, among others, with a host of exclusive, limited-time offers also available for early adopters. Payo is available for iOS and Android users – click here for download links and more information on the app’s bevy of benefits.
The past week has seen a swathe of big-ticket announcements. If you missed them, here are some of the need-to-know details …
Rothwell’s Bar & Grill
Anyone that has visited The Savoy Grill in London or storied Los Angeles bistro The Musso & Frank Grill will likely tell you that the level of hospitality experienced is near unparalleled. Rothwell’s Bar & Grill, a soon-to-open bistro and bar from two top-tier hospitality talents, is looking to bring the same kind of elevated epicureanism to Brisbane’s inner city. Dan Clark, owner of 1889 Enoteca, and Ben Russell, ex-head chef of Aria Brisbane, are the brains behind the lavish locale, which is set to open next month at the base of the Rothwell Building on Edward Street. The venue will feature a 90-seat main dining room, a 40-seat bar space and a private dining room in the cellar downstairs, with Ben and his kitchen team employing classic cooking techniques to create dishes like prawn cocktails, Moreton Bay bugs with café de Paris butter, beef Wellington, as-you-like-it grass-fed T-bone steaks, niçoise salad and club sandwiches. Wine will be a big focus of the bar – a sizeable wine list documents Dan’s carefully curated assortment of drops from well-known and emerging European producers and classic vintages from some of Australia’s best-known wineries. Cocktail sippers can also expect a list of well-executed classics, with martinis reportedly set to be a house specialty. You can read up on Rothwell’s here.
Brisbane’s newest small-batch spirit maker is drawing inspiration from one of the founding fathers of Australian brewing. Bavay Distillery, named after famed Belgium-born brewer, industrial chemist and bacteriologist Auguste de Bavay, will be opening at Morningside’s Rivermakers Estate in December. The burgeoning operation, which occupies the stillhouse of the heritage-listed Commonwealth Acetate of Lime Factory (part of the Heritage Quarter lifestyle and entertainment precinct alongside Low and Slow Meat Co. and Revel Brewing Co.’s soon-to-open brewery and restaurant), will honour the craft of spirit making via the use of traditional and exotic methods. Monica, Bavay Distillery’s 500-litre copper-pot still, is concocting small batches of gin, vodka, rum and whisky, each imbued with a quintessential Queensland spirit. The distillery’s 120-capacity bar space will boast a glamorous Great Gatsby-inspired glow-up, with a new copper-top bar, drop lighting and ample greenery juxtaposed against the structure’s industrial brick interior (an all-weather alfresco space will also form part of Bavay Distillery’s footprint). Guests can expect samples of distillery’s product range, an extensive cocktail menu (including tiered gin cocktail trees for groups) and a range of light, tapas-style bites, while hobbyist distillers can sign up for hands-on blending masterclasses, in which they can craft and age their unique blends in custom coopered miniature barrels. More on Bavay Distillery can be found here.
Some big coffee-related news emerged last week with the dual announcement of the closure of Coffee Anthology’s Margaret Street cafe and subsequent reopening as part of Inter/Section – a brand-new laneway hub connecting Mary and Charlotte Streets. The multifaceted hub is the brainchild of Coffee Anthology’s Adam Wang, who is looking to bring the inner-city community together around coffee, pastries and hospitality. Inter/Section’s 700-sqm Clui Design-envisioned modern-industrial hub will feature four separate venues. Coffee Anthology will occupy the space closest to the Charlotte Street entry, with an assortment of gear once more facilitating the concept’s multi-roaster showcase. Seating for 120 guests will run the length of Inter/Section past two central retail spaces geared towards offering an assortment of comestibles. A central kiosk will see Adam and the team partner with lauded baked-goods maker Justin Yu, whose Mount Gravatt patisserie The Whisk is highly regarded as one of Brisbane’s best sources of sweet and savoury pastries, alongside another yet-to-be-announced kitchen space. Another coffee bar at Inter/Section’s Mary Street end will be used for pop-up appearances by a rotating roaster, which will showcase its product and values on a more concentrated level. Get all the essential info on this new development here.
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