The Stores Grocer
If it’s been a little while since you visited The Stores Grocer on Montague Road in West End, it’s time you made another trip. The entire warehouse-style venue has been remodelled into a light and airy European-style food hall under the culinary curatorship of legendary Brisbane chef Gillian Hirst, former executive chef at Chevaliers, founder of Il Centro, Indigo Bistro and Tapas Mercado. The new-look grocer is a one-stop-shop for at-home entertaining and offers the finest cuts of fresh, cured and aged meat, mouthwatering charcuterie, a fromagerie filled to the brim with 150 different cheeses, no less than 20 different varietals of ethically sourced olives and the freshest produce to fill your basket. There are also plenty of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options with soups to sauces, condiments, curries and cakes, to take your fancy. If you’re keen to outsource to the experts, Gillian has worked her culinary magic on the kitchen’s menu to offer a selection of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook meals including The Stores Made range, which features her iconic sand-crab lasagne. In line with The Stores Grocer’s commitment to sustainability, the venue is also home to Queensland’s first refillable wine dispensary, which is every bit as glorious as it sounds. The dispensary currently features three easy-to-drink everyday wines including a dry mid-weight verdelho (white), a crisp cabernet sauvignon rosé and a medium-red blend with sultry aromatics, spice, cinnamon and floral fruits but there are whispers of a fourth (full-bodied red anyone?). The small-batch grape juice is blended locally by Master of Wine Peter Scudamore-Smith and is $20 for one litre however first-time sippers must also purchase the venue’s specially designed glass bottle for $12 but then it’s yours to fill and refill to your heart’s content.