Shane Hansen, Verve Cafe

You have two ears, one heart and one mouth. Use them in that order.

Tucked in the basement of the Metro Arts building in Brisbane’s CBD, Verve Cafe has spent the last ten years earning a legion of fans who flock to the underground locale for its hearty Italian fare and relaxed ambience. The passionate purveyor behind this establishment is Shane Hansen and The Weekend Edition spoke to him about crafting the perfect weekend.

How do you like to start your weekend?
In a very timely fashion! With my weekdays being so busy with my businesses, it’s just nice to start the weekend with a leisurely stroll around New Farm with my dog Oscar.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
After my walk, nothing says Saturday mornings like the daily paper, breakfast and catching up on the week that was with family and friends.

How do you like to unwind?
As hospitality has been my life for more than 25 years, I find I’m always taking it home with me. I have the perfect back deck at my place, so I unwind by entertaining friends and family. I always have a cider, wine or beer hiding in the fridge to share.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
Friends, family, music, laughter and maybe a cider or two.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
I’m dying to get a roller-derby competition. My cousin Tanika ‘Iron thighs’ raves about these amazing girls who fly around an indoor skating ring throwing each other around. I’m really looking forward to catching one soon.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
Meet up with my group of local friends and wander down to the secret little Italian club in New Farm enjoying the best Spaghetti Bolognaise and Cannoli I have ever eaten.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
I have just started dirt bike riding and I’m heading out to the Glass House Mountains for a day of riding.

What are you reading at the moment?
Charcuterie: the craft of salting, smoking and curing meat by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn

Who inspires you?
My parents; I have four. I come from a blended family. My mother and father have both remarried and it’s not uncommon to find the four of them sitting around laughing together at family functions. I have four sisters and two brothers – there is no such thing as step or half brothers and sisters in our family, just family. That’s inspires me and humbles me.

What inspires you?
Resilience. I’m amazed by how resilient the people of Queensland have been since the floods. That inspires me to never give up, no matter how things are stacked against you.

What was your childhood dream?
I discovered rap music when I was 12 – is that childhood? I always wanted to be a famous rapper.

What has been your greatest achievement?
I left school in grade ten at a time when wanting to cook was not on the list of the coolest things to do. My stepmother Marilyn instilled me with the drive to complete my apprenticeship. The day I did, I felt I had achieved something great and I have never looked back. That would be my greatest achievement.

What is success to you?
Success to me equals riches. My parents are the richest people I know because their children talk to them at least once a week. That’s success.

What are your words of wisdom?
You need to be wise to offer wisdom and I don’t consider myself wise at all. If I were to offer anything to anyone in the way of what I have learnt in my years I would say this: you have two ears, one heart and one mouth. Use them in that order. You are not a pioneer in making mistakes; someone, somewhere has made them before you and everything will be ok.

Only a local would know that … Cyber City in The Valley serves food till midnight! Try the Eggplant and Pork Mince Stew or the Battered Chilli Prawns – AMAZING. And they even have full-size pool tables. Brisbane’s CBD has the most fantastic laneway and basement restaurants and bars. There is a new one popping up every week! A wander here and a walk down there will open some great new experiences.


Perk up … The Ponycat
Relax … New Farm Bowls Club
Dine …  Crosstown Eating House
Indulge … Tank Restaurant
Catch-up … The Brunswick Social
Be inspired …  Stanthorpe! Winemakers, cheesemakers, and cidermakers. It’s an amazing place to see the most creative people doing things for the love of their craft. I’m always finding new inspiration there.



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