There’s a bit of excitement bubbling away in Toowoomba’s drink and dining scene these days. Bodega – a new New York bodega meets Mexican good-time bar celebrating live music, cold beer and community vibes opened in a secret laneway location at Walton Stores on Ruthven Street in September 2021. The venue is the brainchild of Todd Farr, owner of recently closed Asian-inspired street-food eatery Junk. Bodega has slotted in next to Junk’s old premises, with a secret entrance hidden behind a modest bodega-inspired shopfront that gives way to a neon-electric music venue and bar. The venue’s look and feel has been informed by global cities like New York or London, but combined with a warm and friendly charm that can only be found in Toowoomba. Marcus Boyle – formerly of Tippling Club – has been recruited to curate the Bodega Bar’s liquor program, which includes Latin-inspired cocktails like pisco sours, spiced palomas, micheladas and margaritas, accompanied by a tight list of classics including mojitos, Moscow mules and the Dirty Shirley – a grown-up take on the Shirley Temple. Savoury snacks are available in the form of convenience store snacks like Cheetos and pork crackling. As for the music, Bodega’s weekly itinerary will feature musical bingo and jam nights on Wednesdays, live bands from Thursday through to Saturday, and DJs spinning the hits on Sunday evenings.