Queens – a disco-grunge bar slinging natural wine and snacks – opens in Fortitude Valley
Loud music, disco balls, natural wines by the glass – if we were creating our dream bar from scratch, there’s a good chance these three things would be on our wish list. Good news for anyone whose predilections closely mirror our own, Queens in The Valley is bringing all of the above together in one punchy neon-lit package. The glam-meets-grit nightspot, which comes from the team behind Commercial Road Public bar, opened over the weekend and is already shaping up to be a stellar setting for regular revelry.
When Queens officially opened to the public on Saturday May 29, it didn’t take long for the atmosphere to jump from lively to heaving. Folks from all walks of life jostled for position at the bar or bumped elbows as they perched along the wooden banquette. Such an immediate response is a testament to the popularity of Queen’s spiritual predecessor Commercial Road Public Bar, which managed to drum up a significant following in the short period of time between its September 2020 opening and closure at the end of May 2021. When CRPB owner Kyle Weir announced that his Newstead bar – beloved for its selection of natural wines, menu of Italian-inspired eats and ‘all are welcome’ ethos – was shuttering ahead of a relocation, he was quick to soften the blow with the news that sibling sipping spot Queens was already in the pipeline over in Fortitude Valley. The bar is a continuation of Kyle’s penchant for neon-lit, 80s-inspired locales, but where CRPB drew heavily on New York Fashion Week circa 1989 and chic SMPTE colour bars for its aesthetic cues, the heritage nature of Queen’s California Lane home lends itself to a darker, louder and more attitude-laden look – think a tasteful amalgam of disco style and rock ’n’ roll street smarts. Those that step inside via Queens’ Brunswick Street or California Lane entrances are greeted by colour and sound – neon lights project vivid hues across natural brickwork and poster-adorned walls, while disco balls above the bar cast glints of light in concentric circles and a newly installed sound system blasts everything from Queen (naturally) and David Bowie to disco grooves and rock jams.
Queens’ smaller footprint means that its overall selection is more pared back compared to CRPB’s offering, but a decrease in quantity doesn’t equate to a decrease in quality. Expressive wine remains a core fixture of the drinks list, with bottles from La Violetta, Vinden Wines, Commune of Buttons, Garage Project, Vino Volta, Unico Zelo and LATTA Vino featuring. Tinned and tap beers are available, with drops from Range Brewing a prominent fixture. One of the largest differences between Queens and CRPB is its 11-strong cocktail list, which features classics such as Aperol spritz and Tommy’s margaritas, as well as signature concoctions like the Queens Margarita (tequila, agave, lime, orange and a red-wine float) and the Watermelon Sugar 003 – a drink that blends gin, De Kuyper watermelon liqueur, fresh watermelon, sugar and a curious ingredient called ‘Harry Styles’. Although no on-site kitchen means no pizzas, Queens is still serving easy-to-prep bar snacks such as taramasalata with crisps, guindillas, sardines or anchovies with house bread, burrata and tomato salads, prosciutto plates, giardiniera (pickled vegetables) and marinated artichokes.
Queens is now open to the public – head to the Stumble Guide for more information.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.