When Fortitude Valley’s Fringe Bar on the corner of Ann and Constance Street transformed into the Osbourne Hotel in 2017, it kick-started a new life as one of The Valley’s most beloved pub-style watering holes. The venue’s lush outdoor space has rarely been idle since it officially opened, and while that portion of the venue grew its patronage, plans were simultaneously being drawn up for an overhaul of the building’s interior space. Deciding to install two venues in one building, ownership set about turning the interior into its own venue with its own dedicated entry on Constance Street. BSPN Architecture were recruited to oversee the aesthetic pivot, drawing inspiration from London’s sophisticated lounge bars to craft an elegant but cosily comfortable venue – Shhh! Using a palette of maroon, navy, burgundy and gold as a base, the design crew have added plush booth seating, chesterfield armchairs, moody light fixtures and an assortment of eye-catching art pieces on the wall. Guests can cloister themselves in one of many dimly lit nooks, take up a perch at the bar or cut a dashing figure on the dance floor, where live piano bar entertainment and DJs soundtrack the evening with a tasteful selection of tunes.
The menu at Shhh! boasts a delightful mix of small and large share tapas plates, with inspiration plucked from all corners of the culinary globe. The smalls include pork-belly baos with sticky plum dressing and kewpie mayo, fried-chicken tacos with chipotle mayo, lamb ribs with salsa verde, pea and mint arancini, calamari strips with wasabi mayo and more, while larger plates offer the likes of pork and fennel sausage rolls, smoked and cured charcuterie meats and mixed cheese platters. Over at the bar, Shhh! boasts a sizeable spirit selection with a focus on gin – 70 bottles are currently on hand, with that number set to grow. The beverage selection is headlined by a six-strong list of gin and tonic varieties and gin flights, the latter offering sample combos inspired by the Mediterranean, Sicily, India. The main cocktail list has ten concoctions to choose from (with riffs on sprtiz, negroni, sours and mules available), while non-cocktail drinkers can sip on tap beers, natural wines and more. Shhh! even boasts a VIP bottle service for the high rollers, with all drinks served by your own butler.
Shhh! officially opens to the public on Friday October 25. For contact details and opening hours, head to the Stumble Guide.