Have you (like us) been curious about the construction around the former site of Chester Street Bakery in Newstead over the past few months? The site’s future has now been revealed – as of late January, opulent bar Hello Gorgeous will be opening its doors. The bar comes from hospitality veteran Justinn DeBeer, with a vision to create an awe-inspiring and welcoming venue built around positive vibes and fun times. As its name might suggest, Hello Gorgeous promises to be a visual treat, featuring impressive high archways, titanium gold linear chandeliers and Spanish tiling set against a palette of dreamy pastels, peacock blues and brass touches. The seasonal cocktail list is set to be as exotic as the fit-out, concocted alongside more than 40 wines, ten sparkling drops and French champagne. Expect to find a snackable share-plate menu with a strong seafood focus from head chef Matthew Wrench (ex-Eleven Rooftop Bar), including the likes of sesame-crusted tuna loin sliders and roasted bone marrow with sourdough crisps.
Did you catch our round-up of new openings to get excited for in 2019? In case you missed it, we broke the news of a few bars and restaurants that were yet to be announced, one of which was Maeve. The European-style wine bar is the latest project from the brains behind Hello Please, with chef Jessie Stevens heading up the food offering and wine directed by former Movida Melbourne wine buyer Eleanor Cappa. Eleanor is currently in the process of creating a diverse wine offering with strong European highlights and what promises to be an impressive reserve list, which will be paired with a selection of grazing or more substantial dishes. Patrons can opt to sip and snack at the 20-seater bar, or settle in for a meal in the dining room. Maeve’s kitchen will be open from 4:00 pm until late, perfect for both pre- or post-theatre dining. Fit-out by Woodsters is currently underway in the heritage-listed Queensland National Bank building on the corner of Melbourne and Grey Streets, with Maeve due to open in March.
In that article we also revealed further details on Alba, the Spanish delicatessen-style tapas bar we mentioned last week that is set to neighbour Death & Taxes. Alba is the first solo venture from chef Jamie Fleming (ex-MasterChef 2014 contestant, Wilhelmina’s Sydney head chef and Diageo ambassador), who drawn on the flavours and vibe of old town of San Sebastián for inspiration. Due to open in March, the bar will be open from midday to midnight, serving a selection of house-made Spanish bocadillo sandwiches, bite-sized pintxos and tinned fish alongside a curated selection of Spanish wine, cider and sherry- and wine-based cocktails. Alba will feature a ten-metre-long bar, half of which will be dedicated to the bar, the other half to an open kitchen, allowing patrons to watch all of the action.
We also mentioned that February would see the opening of IKU in Brisbane Quarter, a Japanese noodle bar from the family behind Gasworks’ Reef Seafood & Sushi. IKU will draw on a ‘Subway-style’ concept, where customers can choose their noodle base, style of soup and fillings to build their own noodle bowls – think thick, thin and low-carb kelp noodles, dashi, curry or miso soup, and proteins such as chicken, wagyu beef or salmon. Although quick, IKU promises it won’t compromise on authenticity – long-time Reef chef Shigeki Uno has based the menu on his traditional Japanese family recipes.
The Deck WV
Sunday afternoons in February are all about soaking up the last rays of summer sunshine and West Village is ready to help you embrace those final weekends of the season. The precinct is presenting its own take on the beloved Sunday session with The Deck WV – a series of Sunday afternoon events from 3:00–5:00 pm, set in the lush green surrounds of The Garden Pantry. The series will kick off on February 3 with a Lunar New Year celebration from Mr Bunz, featuring a three-course roaming banquet, beer with each course and bubble tea cocktails. On February 10, Cheeky Poké Bar will present G&P Sundays, where you’ll be transported to a tropical Hawaiian paradise with a build-your-own poké bowl and taco alongside a tasting paddle of six gins to sample. To wrap up the series, Salt Meat Cheese will present Bottomless Amalfi Sundays on February 17, where guest will indulge in a true Italian feast of pizza boards, cheese-wheel pasta and bottomless Aperol spritzes. Each Sunday session at The Deck WV is ticketed and bookings are essential – head to our Event Guide for full details!
OTTO Long Lunch
Not ready to wind down party season just yet? OTTO hears you – after all, Italians love to embrace holiday mode. The Brisbane City restaurant has just launched the OTTO Long Lunch, a three-course set menu allowing you to sit back and feast without having to make any decisions. Award-winning chef and sommelier duo Will Cowper and Alan Hunter will create a new menu each week based on their favourite seasonal ingredients and wines of the moment, with patrons able to select optional wine pairing with their long lunch. Across the courses of primi, secondi and dolci, Will promises to present diners with the dishes and produce he is most excited about, while Alan will take diners on a true journey, showcasing wines they may not be familiar with. OTTO Long Lunch’s three-course set menu is $65, with optional wine pairing $45.
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Image: OTTO by Nikki To