James Street welcomes The Lodge Bar & Dining – Rodd & Gunn’s dapper restaurant and cocktail spot
James Street is often the spot to spy snazzily attired shoppers and dressed-up diners, so it makes sense the high street would be the location for The Lodge Bar & Dining, Rodd & Gunn’s multi-faceted noshery. Boasting distinct antipodean-inspired aesthetics, a menu conceived and executed by Michelin-starred talent and a drinks list sure to entice wine lovers and cocktail cravers alike, this eye-catching eatery and bar is sure to stand out, even amongst James Street’s established cadre of acclaimed dining spots. The Lodge Bar & Dining officially opens today, Thursday May 19 – have a gander inside …
A clothing store with a restaurant attached, or a restaurant with a clothing store attached. Regardless of how you put it, a fashion-meets-food hybrid is always likely to raise eyebrows. Despite its peculiar-on-paper nature, Rodd & Gunn’s The Lodge Bar & Dining makes perfect sense once experienced in person. James Street’s newest resident is an entity with two distinct, but complimentary, aspects. On one side sits a gleaming new flagship clothing emporium boasting racks and shelves of Rodd & Gunn’s rugged-yet-polished apparel. On the other is a stunning two-level Queenslander (which, over the years, has been home to Jamie’s Espresso, Molten Store and The Green’s leafy pop-up) that has been largely hollowed out and converted into a versatile hospitality hot-spot that can cater to 150 guests. The Lodge is a concept that Rodd & Gunn has gentle expanded in recent years, starting in 2016 with its first spots in Queenstown and Auckland, before leaping the Tasman Sea to open a site in Melbourne’s Myer Chadstone before starting work on its fourth location on James Street. Aesthetically, Rodd & Gunn has ensured The Lodge Bar blends traces of its home country’s natural beauty with sophisticated and luxurious touches. A transportive sensation has been woven into the fabric of the venue’s various nooks, from its street-facing corner bar and main dining room to its upstairs cocktail lounge, private-dining spaces and wrap-around balcony. Inside, wool rugs lay atop American oak wood flooring, tan leather furnishings are accents by brass fixtures, while Australian rock and breezeblocks help create a crisp airiness throughout.
Much like how Rodd & Gunn’s clothing range can help gents find an outfit for casual outings and more dressed-up occasions, The Lodge Bar & Dining offers a similar sense of versatility by catering to the drop-in cocktail drinkers, long lunchers and dinner crowds. Overseeing The Lodge Bar & Dining’s epicurean offering is executive chef Matt Lambert and head chef James Evangelinos, both of which boast experience working at Michelin-starred New York restaurant Musket Room. Here, they’re championing seasonal and local produce (we’re talking seafood, beef, wild meats and homegrown fruit and vegetables) across a menu of balanced, timeless classics. The offering starts with small plates featuring the likes of wood-roasted cuttle fish, heritage pork terrine, sea trout tartare and sprouted grains, before moving towards large-format mains, including blue crab spaghetti with sea urchin butter, Berkshire pork chops, bar cod with smoked dashi beurre blanc, and dry-aged bone in NY strip steak. On the menu’s flip side is a range dedicated to shells – think oysters (sourced from famed coastal areas like Coffin Bay, Bruny Island and Kangaroo Island), crustaceans (buttered Moreton Bay bug rolls, eucalyptus-grilled tiger prawns and open-fire-grilled rock lobster) and eggs (devilled eggs with trout roe and caviar tarts with egg yolk). The Lodge Bar Group’s beverage manager, master sommelier Cameron Douglas, has ably curated a complimentary array of libations to suit all tastes, from a globe-spanning wine list featuring drops from Italy, France, Spain, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, so a clutch of signature cocktails like the Rose Gold Negroni, Kiwi Sunset, Earnslaw Express and the Cecil Peak Sour.
The Lodge Bar & Dining officially opens to the public today, Thursday May 19. For operating hours, contact details and booking info, head to the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.