The year in review: what you loved in 2015
My, my. What a year it has been. The year 2015 has been a big one for Brisbane – we saw our food and drink scene grow to rival the southern states, we welcomed a flurry of international retailers and we threw some pretty spectacular events. One thing is for sure, our city is growing, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds. Before we move on to 2016, we thought it was only fitting to reflect on the things our readers loved most in 2015 on The Weekend Edition. Here are our top-ranking stories for the year!
Food & Drink
You love the food. You love the drink. So it came as no surprise that Food & Drink was the category you loved the most on The Weekend Edition in 2015. From new openings to mouth-watering round-ups, here were our top-ranking Food & Drink stories of the year …
Gauge certainly got a lot of love from our readers this year – as well as being the top Food & Drink story of the year, you also voted it Best New Cafe and Best New Restaurant in the 2015 EAT/drink Awards. The eatery is the second project from Sourced Grocer’s Jerome Batten, and its creative menu continues to evolve under the supervision of talented executive chef Cormac Bradfield, including the addition of dinners from Thursday to Saturday each week.
The Stores West End
West End gained a new providore in July, showcasing some of the best produce available in Southeast Queensland. The Stores West End is the handiwork of the family behind Schulte’s Meat Tavern in the Lockyer Valley and trust us – they know good food.
Eleven Rooftop Bar
Sitting 11 storeys high and boasting 270-degree views across Fortitude Valley, Brisbane City and beyond, Eleven Rooftop Bar has been wholeheartedly embraced by the people of Brisbane. As summer takes hold of the city, we can’t wait to embrace our glorious weather and bask in the sun, cocktail in hand.
This Americana-Mexican fusion is rockin’ the suburbs, bringing Californian cool to Coorparoo. Influenced by their love of travel and good food, owners Karl and Anna Zammit have set up a West Coast-style surf lodge, serving up everything from burgers to spicy prawn tacos.
After wowing us with Gauge, Jerome Batten opened boutique laneway bar Maker in Fish Lane, an intimate space with a moody and masculine aesthetic. Nick Royds and Edward Quatermass work their magic behind the bar, concocting creations that meld high-quality and house-made ingredients in unexpected ways.
Well, there is no denying it. Doughnut fever has officially taken over the city. Thanks to Damian Griffiths’ Doughnut Time, Brisbane has become obsessed with these sweet and holey treats. Since opening in February on Alfred Street, Doughnut Time has expanded to open six more Queensland stores, four in Sydney and one in Melbourne, with more on the way!
Brisbane’s late-night dining spots
Finally! There are places to eat in Brisbane after 8:30 pm! You want late-night bites as much as we do, so we rounded up the top spots in Brisbane to eat in the wee hours. And we’re not talking about a greasy 2:00 am kebab – these places take their food seriously.
Brisbane Brewing Co
West End’s Brisbane Brewing Co was also a clear favourite for our readers, taking out Best New Bar in our 2015 EAT/drink Awards. Grant and Michelle Clark opened the watering hole as a permanent home for their brewery, and you can watch the brewers in action while you sip on an ice-cold brew and graze from the kitchen selection.
When the boys from Beccofino announced they were opening a second venue, cries of joy could be heard across the city. The result was South Brisbane’s Julius Pizzeria, which pleases palates with an array of wood-fired pizzas, delectable pastas and absolutely necessary rounds of Aperol Spritz.
A traditional izakaya in Brisbane City? Yes please! Sushi Kotobuki’s sophisticated sibling serves up an array of Japanese beer, whisky, shochu and sake, paired with grilled and fried snacking plates and yakitori.
This year was a big one for shopping in Brisbane, with a number of huge international retailers making their way to our fair city. And by the looks of our top Gentlefolk stories, you were pretty excited about it!
We don’t have to wait for international holidays to stock up on our favourite Japanese basics anymore – UNIQLO is here! Indooroopilly Shopping Centre is the home of the first Queensland store, with a highly anticipated Queen Street Mall store set to open early next year. Stay tuned to The Weekend Edition for updates!
H&M Queen Street Mall, Garden City and Indooroopilly
It wasn’t just the first Queensland H&M store that you got excited about – you couldn’t wait to find out about all of them. The latest instalment is the flagship store in Queen Street Mall, occupying a mammoth 3500 square metres in the new 170 Queen development with men’s, women’s, children’s and homewares ranges.
Zara Queen Street Mall
We weren’t lying when we said it was a huge year for international retailers in Brisbane – November 20 saw Zara open its doors to Brisbane customers in Queen Street Mall. Known for its classic and on-trend pieces, Zara brings three levels of fashion and homewares to its flagship Queensland store.
While you went a bit crazy for giant international stores, you still loved your local gems. Small Bunch launched this year, delivering adorable seasonal and locally sourced posies for only $30. No longer are fresh delivered flowers reserved just for special occasions – Small Bunch keeps its blooms affordable so you can send them ‘just because’.
Gentlefolk isn’t just limited to fashion and accessories – we like to play, and apparently so do you! Readers were excited to learn about the escape room craze sweeping the city, so we decided to round up the spots around Southeast Queensland. Quick explanation – you get locked in a room and by gathering clues, solving puzzles and cracking codes, you and a team of fellow sleuths must work together to break free from your confinement.
Brisbane’s landscape is certainly changing, with new property developments popping up all over the city. But it wasn’t just property that you were interested in – we also said hello to a few new and exciting design retailers.
Pottery Barn and west elm
This was not only our top Design story – it was by far the biggest story of the year. Excited much, readers? From our initial announcement in May to the actual opening, Pottery Barn and west elm were the most-searched queries on The Weekend Edition. The design retailers opened their doors in Fortitude Valley on October 1, presenting interconnecting Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and west elm stores.
Queens Wharf Proposals
It was easily the biggest story in Brisbane property this year – the race to win the tender for the redevelopment of Queen’s Wharf. After presenting elaborate proposals for the precinct, Destination Brisbane Consortium was selected over Greenland Crown for the $3-billion redevelopment.
Hobbs Park Queen Street
There has been a lot of chatter about the pending Grocon building at 480 Queen Street. As part of its unique design, the fourth floor will feature an impressive public green space, with green walls and raking gardens covering the concrete surfaces, overlooking the heritage-listed St John’s Cathedral and Adelaide House.
The Terraces Brisbane Showgrounds
The transformation of Brisbane Showgrounds is well underway, which when finished will feature a number of new apartments, a Rydges hotel and a new retail and dining precinct. As part of Lend Lease’s The Yards development, the boutique The Terraces were launched, complete with a personal scooter for zipping about the city.
Highline West End
Property developers BPM announced their third foray into the West End market with Highline. The apartments feature interiors designed by renowned Melbourne interior design studio Hecker Guthrie, and are due for completion in late 2016.
- Your favourite The Locals were Georgia Barnes and Kurt Phelan
- You loved when The Street Photographer captured Eleven Rooftop Bar and Sonny’s House of Blues
- You couldn’t wait to find yourself in the 2high Festival, Dîner en Blanc and Future Beauty Up Late Captured galleries
- You daydreamed of travelling to our Destinations Puerto Escondido and Big Sur
What a year it was, and 2016 is shaping up to be even bigger! Thank you, dear readers, for a wonderful year – we hope you enjoyed reading The Weekend Edition as much as we enjoyed creating it for you!
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.