Double-barrel deliciousness – brunch institution The Gunshop Cafe opens a second eatery in Toowong
Few cafes in Brisbane’s dining scene boast as sterling a reputation as The Gunshop Cafe. The West End-born eatery is a veritable culinary institution (we’re not kidding – it won Best Institution Cafe in 2018’s EAT/drink Awards) and continues to be a popular fixture of the local brunch circuit. After a decade and a half of operation, the long-running cafe is spreading its wings, opening a second location just a short stroll from Toowong Village. Same comfortably rustic interior? Check. Same delightfully delicious coffee? Double check. Same mouth-watering potato-and-fetta hash cakes? Triple check!
If consistency is one of the key ingredients for longevity, then The Gunshop Cafe must be one of the most consistent brunch spots in Brisbane. It would go a long way towards explaining the West End institution’s 16 years of operation, with its rustic Mollison Street space (once home to an actual gun shop) remaining perpetually busy even as the city’s cafe scene exploded. It’s not hard to imagine those who have patiently waited to grab a seat inside over the years have wished The Gunshop had another site to shoulder the weight of demand, and now it seems as if the cosmos has finally acknowledged the collective manifesting. On Friday January 1, The Gunshop Cafe opened a new location over the Brisbane River in Toowong, taking over the site of Maria Caribbean Kitchen on Jephson Street and transforming it into a charmingly rustic brunch barn. The colour-soaked aesthetic of its predecessor has been replaced with The Gunshop’s signature earthy light-industrial palette (conceived in conjunction with Brisbane-based studio Ni Design) – think dark wood panelling, sturdy timber banquettes and plenty of exposed brick. Between the cafe’s interior seating arrangement and outdoor dining strip, the venue can house roughly 120 patrons without restrictions, meaning there’s plenty of space for long-time lovers of Gunshop grub to get their fix easily.
When you’ve got a time-tested menu, it’s best not to tamper with it. The Gunshop crew agrees, which is why regulars will be tickled to know that the full complement of Gunshop originals are available at Toowong, too. Yes, that means that you can tuck in to the cafe’s dearly beloved potato-and-fetta hash cakes (lathered in herb sour cream, of course), pork, apple and sage sausage with bubble and squeak, pesto-infused scrambled eggs with leg ham, and sweet-potato-and-thyme rostis. While we love a set list that’s filled with greatest hits, the Gunshop’s back catalogue runs deep. If you care to veer away from the classics, look to the likes of French toast with Canadian maple bacon, gin-cured salmon gravlax or a brekkie burger with smoked bacon, egg and Jack cheese. Lunch grumbles are catered to as well – think Korean fried chicken and watermelon salad, parmesan and thyme gnocchi with blue cheese cream and sauteed mushrooms, and a wagyu double cheeseburger. Toowong’s kitchen will craft its own specials separately to West End, so if you like a bit of exclusivity it’s advised you check in often to see what’s cookin’. Merlo Coffee is supplying the beans for the cafe’s brew, which is made using a silky specially made Gunshop blend (available alongside loose-leaf teas, freshly squeezed juices, revivifying tonics and house-made thick shakes). Having already conquered daytime dining, the Gunshop crew is eager to branch into the evening with a refined dinner service and some new boozy beverages, likely to launch once a liquor licence is secured. The team hasn’t ruled out further expansion of the Gunshop brand, either, which is exciting news for those of you that just can’t get enough of this stalwart’s style of hospitality.
The Gunshop Cafe Toowong is open now. Keen to check it out? You can find all the important bits of info over in the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.