Meet Mr PP’s – Southport’s first rooftop bar inspired by an 19th-century postman
After months of anticipation, Southport’s first rooftop bar is finally here. Friends, let us introduce you to Mr PP’s. The former postmaster’s residence of Philip Palmer Agnew (Mr PP) on Nerang Street has been transformed into a wondrous two-storey eatery and watering hole, which will officially open to the public on Tuesday November 21. Let’s all give a respectful nod to Mr PP, then step inside.
A super-quick history lesson will paint the picture. So, the site of Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop was originally a postmaster’s residence, which was occupied by Mr PP – a poet, illustrator and scriptwriter – from 1909. In 1967, the site became a maternal care facility, which continued to operate until around 2013. Since then the building, which sits right next door to the old ambulance station that is nowadays home to Percy’s cafe and CoSpaces, remained dormant. That was until Ben Howe (of Co-Spaces fame) and Arran Woolams (of design firm Space Cubed) came along. The building was snapped up and underwent months of major transformative works to create a new chapter in the site’s history – Southport’s first-ever rooftop bar and deli. Mr PP’s will focus mainly on night trade (well, from 4:00 pm), however you’ll be able to soak up the sunshine on the rooftop from midday on a Friday and Saturday.
Mr PP’s spans two storeys, with a 60-seat deli and bar at street level and a 70-seat rooftop bar and kitchen. The downstairs deli and bar is dimly lit, with a cabinet of cured meats, a well-curated shelf of spirits and a selection of bottle cocktails ready to pour over ice. Think of this area as a waiting room before making your way upstairs. A bottle-green brick-clad stairwell joins the downstairs deli to the rooftop, which gives you a bird’s-eye view of the central hub of Southport. Up here you can sit at the bar, in the booths, or nab a timber picnic table with the crew. You can soak up the sunshine by day to the hum of the trams, and gaze at the stars under the glimmer of the festoon lights by night. (Yes, there’s a retractable roof too – take that, rain!). Armed with creative and design backgrounds, Ben and Arran have created a venue that balances modern aesthetics with 19th-century antiquity. How so? Well, in one corner you’ll see an archaic Singer sewing-machine table that looks like it should be sitting in a museum. In the other, there’s a bright green potted fiddle leaf sitting in front of a multi-coloured brick wall, hand-painted with the text ‘In good company’ by the coast’s own Claudio Kirac. Little details like that create a historical contrast that is totally respectful – and so damn cool.
Given its ‘deli’ credentials, Mr PP’s focuses heavily on quality meats, cheese and bread (um, hello tasty trio), which are woven throughout the menu in the form of charcuterie, pizzas and share plates. The same menu runs across both the downstairs and upstairs spaces – it’s simple and there’s something for all tastes. Start with smaller plates like truffle fries or a salad of cucumber, charred corn, melon, snowpea tendril and yoghurt mascarpone, before moving onto the deli platters brimming with tasty meats, pickles and all of the cheese. There’s a tight selection of woodfired pizzas, with simple toppings like prosciutto, rocket and gruyere, and pork belly, pear and fior di latte (fancy cheese). Don’t want a pizza or platter? Get a pork chop with salsa verde instead. There’s also duck meatballs with truffle fries, mussels and clams with grilled bread and a cauliflower rigatoni to keep the hunger at bay. The bar provides a welcome underscore to the food offering, with a refined approach to cocktails and cocktail jugs. A selection of tap beers sits alongside a concise cellar list and a (very) well-curated series of spirits.
Mr PP’s officially opens to the public at 4:00 pm on Tuesday November 21.
Keen to get acquainted with Mr PP’s? Jump over to our Stumble Guide for opening hours and location.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.