Pavement Whispers: Fish Lane expands with new eateries from the operators of Rick Shores and Julius
South Brisbane’s burgeoning Fish Lane precinct is evolving next month, with its anticipated Town Square addition nearing completion. The public green space will not only revitalise more of the laneway’s length, but it will also be home to several new culinary concepts from some top-tier operators. The crew behind lauded Burleigh Heads venue Rick Shores will be bringing multi-level restaurant Southside and express-service coffee and banh mi kiosk Kiki to the strip, while the brains behind Julius Pizzeria will be doubling their presence on Fish Lane with aperitivo and spuntini joint Bar Brutus. Here’s what we know …
It’s hard to imagine South Brisbane without Fish Lane. The thoroughfare, which stretches from Grey Street in South Bank to Manning Street in West End, has flourished into one of the most popular dining strips in Brisbane, with lauded venues such as Gauge, Julius Pizzeria, Hello Please, Maker, La Lune Wine Co. and Maeve calling the street home. Aria Property Group – the mastermind behind the development – is committed to furthering the artful artery’s status as the preeminent precinct for eating and drinking, with the next stage in its Fish Lane masterplan being Town Square. Nestled beneath the train bridge that dissects the laneway, Town Square is an urban Richards and Spence-designed green space that will act as a community meeting point – one that will boast a collection of new bars and restaurants from some notable names.
Joining Fish Lane’s culinary cadre are Southside and Kiki – two new concepts from the hospitality group behind Rick Shores and Little Valley. Taking shape on the West End-side of Town Square, Southside is a multi-level restaurant that will be splicing together elements of both Rick Shores’ and Little Valley’s personas into something singular. The restaurant is housed in a narrow building bridging Melbourne Street and Fish Lane, and will feature multiple spaces for drinking and dining (plus a mezzanine private-dining space) with a mixed aesthetic described to us as “urban jungle meets ruined industrial temple” (Tonic Projects are spearheading the fit-out). Southside will cater to a broad spectrum of eaters, servicing pre-show snackers and leisurely feasters alike with a menu of Chinese-centric delights accentuated by pan-Asian influences (diners can expect a phenomenal dumpling and dim-sum selection). Simon Hanmer will be filling Southside’s head chef role, but he will be joined by newly appointed senior sous chef Benny Lam, who has just completed a stint at Emporium Hotel’s The Terrace, and was previously senior sous chef at Donna Chang. Situated in the heart of Town Square is Kiki – Southside’s casual sibling that will be slinging Bellissimo coffee, grab-and-go treats and banh mis by day, as well as tiki cocktails, margaritas, wine, Asian beers and Asian-inspired snacks at night. Taking cues from southeast Asian beach bars, Kiki will be a fun and casual meeting spot for Fish Lane diners, with the kiosk-style concept taking full advantage of its outdoor space and Town Square’s permanent liquor licence. Kiki is on track for a mid-November opening, while Southside will arrive in December.
Over on the Cultural Centre side of the square will sit Bar Brutus, a 23-sqm sibling to fellow Fish Lane tenant Julius Pizzeria. Bar Brutus will be specialising in three things – aperitivo, spuntini and digestivo. While its namesake was known more for assassinating his superiors, Bar Brutus is all about supporting Julius. In addition to luring in Fish Lane wanderers inside in its own right, it will double as a handy holding space for those awaiting a table at the incredibly popular pizzeria. Guests will be able to relax inside (surrounded by Carrara marble and timber) or in the bar’s alfresco area while sipping on a selection of spritzes and old-world Italian wines, and snacking on an array of Italian-inspired snacks (think olives, cheeses, charcuterie and carpaccio). Bar Brutus’ arrival isn’t far off – the crew is targeting a mid-November opening.
Stay tuned for a closer look at each of these venues in the coming weeks and months.
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