Get loud at Brunswick Mall’s new two-level music haven The Sound Garden
Since the arrival of the Fortitude Music Hall last year, The Valley has become the epicentre of live music in Brisbane. Yesterday, the Brunswick Street Mall scored an impressive music-oriented bar and eatery in the form of The Sound Garden. Stretching over two levels, this gargantuan bistro is not only a spacious spot for punters to drink and dine before or after a gig, but it’s also a handy spot to catch up-and-coming artists.
Compare the Brunswick Street Mall now to three years ago, and you’ll be blown away by how much has changed. The bustling street at the heart of the entertainment precinct has always been a go-to for partiers, but now it has the added bonus of boasting a world-class music venue in the form of the Fortitude Music Hall. While the ballroom-style venue has got things covered when it comes to big-time international acts, its newly open neighbour The Sound Garden is looking to support the local scene. The newest venue from Mantle Group (The Charming Squire, Tai Tai, Pig’N’Whistle) is an ambitious addition to The Valley, which boasts one of the highest concentrations of music venues in Australia. What sets The Sound Garden apart from the rest, however, is its complementary elements – an extensive menu of modern-Australian fare, a comprehensive bar offering and plenty of room to move mean that the venue can stand on its own as a dependable and inclusive bistro and bar, just with the added benefit of free live music!
The first thing that’ll catch your attention about The Sound Garden is the size – from Brunswick Street Mall you’ll spot the interior glow of the gleaming bars within, but only once you cross the threshold will you truly get a sense of the scale. The multi-faceted venue – designed by architect firm Hogg & Lamb – boasts a whopping capacity of 770 patrons, with an aesthetic palette encompassing green marble, dark-green vinyl, warm recycled timber flooring, mossy green velvet curtains and brassy finishes. Upon entry, punters will be greeted by a seven-metre tall ficus tree that stretches the height of the venue, as well as a 13.5-metre ground-floor bar constructed from natural limestone. On one side of the venue sits the stage, where various local musicians (solo artists, duos, trios, full bands) will perform every night of the week. Ascend the stairs to the second level and you’ll spot another bar – this one is nine-metres long and fashioned out of Brescia Sandra marble and brass – cushy leather booths nestled along the walls, as well as a balcony space (which can hold up to 70 patrons) overlooking the bustling mall below.
The food and drink
There’s more to The Sound Garden than just the tunes – Mantle Group’s culinary team has crafted a foodie offering that’ll have Fortitude Valley punters regularly popping in for a feed. Head chef Craig Watson has assembled a sizeable spread that features share-style dishes and mains, with a woodfired Josper grill giving the menu a smoky twist. Pick up a menu (which is printed on vinyl records) and browse woodfired beef in betel leaf, lamb koftas, flash-fried calamari and grilled-prawn tostada, then peruse the selection of burgers, pita wraps and pizzas (the latter is available with vegan cheese). A selection of woodfired mains includes Atlantic salmon cutlets, meaty beef ribs and chicken mignon, while other large plates like handmade gnocchi, beer-battered fish and chips, and prawn and clam tagliatelle will put a dent in any hunger level. Venue manager Davor Djuric and bar manager Shane Lucas are the brains behind The Sound Garden’s cocktail list, which features 12 classics, six Greatest Hits signatures (including concoctions like the Bohemian Raspberry, Ginny Hendrix and Pretty Fly for a Mai Tai), and three share cocktails. The bottled wine list is comprised of predominantly Australian drops, though the bar also boasts a sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, moscato, rose, merlot and a shiraz on tap.
The Sound Garden has officially opened to the public! For opening hours and contact details, head over to the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.