Have you ever fantasised about opening your own bar? There’s a chance that anyone with a fondness for the odd libation has considered it, but Karen Phillips is one of the rare individuals that actually made her dream a reality. Running a bar has been a big-ticket item on her list of aspirational projects, but it wasn’t until she started living at Portside Wharf that she noticed a sizeable gap in the local market for the very style of institution she’d always dreamt of opening. The precinct, which boasts notable dining destinations including Byblos, Gusto da Gianni and Sono, has long been missing a wine bar that offered a grown-up take on hospitality – we’re talking sophisticated vibes, quality product and attentive service. Noticing this gap, Karen put her enterprising spirit into top gear and took the plunge, securing a space for what would become @ Mr and Mrs Jones. With a venue in place and ideas percolating in her mind, Karen – a newcomer to the world of dining hospitality – recruited the specialists at Winchester Group to help actualise the concept. The first step was the fit-out, the design of which was dictated by Karen’s own vision. Shielded by lush greenery, the exterior courtyard offers space for guests to recline under fairy lights and catch errant river breezes. Over the threshold, @ Mr and Mrs Jones boasts a timeless piano-bar and jazz lounge aesthetic, with a dark colour palette accentuated by a black-marble bar top, black and gold-patterned wallpaper, a leafy feature wall and eye-catching pops of red from the plush couches and roses. Karen has added several personal touches to the venue, including a piano, select artwork and small decorative pieces, ensuring a further layer to the overall design.
The next piece to fall into place was hiring the perfect chef to helm the establishment’s kitchen. In a stroke of incredible fortune, Karen and the Winchester crew enlisted the talents of Warren Turnbull – a hatted chef known for his work at Sydney institutions Banc and Assiette, as well as for founding Chur Burger. Having recently relocated to Brisbane, Warren was on the hunt for a project he could sink his teeth into, and the concept of @ Mr and Mrs Jones resonated. Warren has assembled a menu of familiar old-school dishes that have been given a modern update – ranging from small beginners and shares to substantial eats. Think kingfish ceviche with jalapeno puffed rice, Moreton Bay bug meatballs with onion puree, crisp confit chicken wings with lemon labne and za’atar, chicarrón with chilli salt and black-vinegar mayonnaise, fermented black-garlic hummus on flat bread, goats cheese ravioli with beurre blanc and blood orange, slow-cooked lamb neck and barramundi with caponata. The team at Black Pearl Epicure has assisted in curating various cheeses and cured meats for charcuterie boards, with wine and beer pairings planned for the near future. Like any good wine bar, the vino list offers top-shelf and economical drops to suit any palate. Both Australian and international wines are represented, with the selection encompassing identifiable brands and some non-traditional options for those feeling adventurous.
@ Mr and Mrs Jones is now open seven days a week. For opening hours and contact details, click over to our Stumble Guide.