The Grand on Stanley brings 1920s vibes and classic cocktails to Woolloongabba
Fans of intimate Woolloongabba speakeasy Padre were crestfallen when the watering hole closed its doors, but those of you pining for someone to take over the space now have reason to cheer. An enterprising duo consisting of Joe Evans and Lucas Walmsley have taken over the space, overhauling the cosy haunt’s interior to create The Grand on Stanley, which officially opened last Saturday March 23.
The revitalisation of a cherished Woolloongabba watering hole also marks a return to hospitality for two enterprising gents. Joe Evans and Lucas Walmsley have dabbled in hospitality in the past, but have long since ventured down different career paths. Despite their occupational pursuits, the idea to jump back into the bar scene as owners instead of bartenders was one neither man could shake, and when Padre closed its doors the duo saw an opportunity to realise their dream. After reaching out to the owners of the space, Joe and Lucas secured permission to take on the venue, immediately getting to work on implementing their desired aesthetic and approach. The Grand on Stanley is a name with a couple of inspirational touchstones. First, Joe and Lucas loved the idea of a refined 1920s-style saloon where cocktails could be a focus, and secondly, the name doubled as a cheeky play on the nature of the venue’s size. On first glance one will notice that the venue is on the small side, but the ‘grandness’ is intended to communicate grand ideas more than square meters. The duo worked to retain the stunning original elements of the space, including stained-glass windows bracketing the entry, exposed brick walls and lavish light fixtures. In order to pay further homage to past generations, numerous photos of various Brisbane landmarks adorn the walls, showcasing the old-world glamour of Brisbane’s formative years. The resulting space is uncomplicated and comfortable, but Joe and Lucas have added their own additions in the form of new gold-vinyl covers for the lengthy banquette seating, as well as a small outdoor area for those seeking a bit of fresh air.
The Grand on Stanley’s bar offering is similarly uncomplicated, with space restrictions forcing Joe and Lucas’ hand on what they could reasonably stock. With the craft-beer focused Brewhouse sitting across the road, the duo determined that they’d be better suited offering a concise selection of brews, leaning towards popular classics such as James Squire and Furphy. Three taps pour two beers and one cider, with more than ten varieties of bottled beer stocked in the fridge. Likewise, the wine selection is also finely curated, with two whites, two reds and two sparkling wines on offer. Cocktails are undoubtedly the main area of focus, with a five-strong list at launch projected to grow organically over time. Sippers can currently sample the likes of spiked espresso martinis, ginger mojitos and Painkillers. Live music will be a regular feature at The Grand, and those after an intimate space for parties and functions can hire out the entire venue if desired. Also of note is an upstairs residence, which has been converted into a handy accomodation option, with three beds available to book through AirBnB. The coming months will see The Grand on Stanley overhaul its poky downstairs space, with plans to transform it into an intimate whiskey or gin bar for eight-to-ten patrons.
For opening hours and extra details, find The Grand on Stanley in the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.