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Day in and day out, Brisbane’s worker bees get up, dress up and show up to their jobs and work their guts out before going home, only to begin again the next day. We get it. But here’s our advice: sometimes it’s a good idea to loosen that constricting tie, kick off those heels and take that Visa out for a spin. Guess what? You might actually enjoy yourself. All work and no play makes a very dull Andy.
And, as Thursdays are the new Fridays, it's the perfect day to bunk off work early, round up your pals or workmates and head to one of Brisbane’s best bars for an after work drink (or two).
A favourite James Street watering hole, Gerard’s Bar is the perfect place for an after-work tipple. Both a bar and charcuterie house, the little sister to iconic Brisbane bistro, Gerard’s, this little gem offers excellent drinking with bevvies designed to complement the artisan meats and salami that are made-in-house. And once you flash your Urban Feast card (get yours here) to get $25 off the group bill, you’ve basically gotten your post-work wines for free—we won’t say no to that.
Here’s where you’ll find live music every night of the week and a cocktail list more enticing than whatever was on slide 327 of that presentation you had to sit through today. If you only have time for one drink, make it a pot of Brooklyn Standard’s house brew, Brooklyn Lager: statistically proven virility with every sip.
Drinks, DJs and all-American snacks, whatever you fancy this little laneway haunt does it and does it well. The window seating on the second level of Super Whatnot is the perfect place to roost and people watch—also a fantastic place to let off some of that steam you’ve pent up because the intern in accounting lost another invoice.
Not just an iconic Brisbane restaurant for top notch feeds, e’cco bistro is also where you’ll find bar e’cco, a fun, less formal outdoor bar where endless glasses of rose, charcuterie boards and crispy Moreton Bay bug rolls are the norm. Perfect for those summer Fridays with your work crew, when clocking off at 5pm still leaves you with plenty of daylight to enjoy. Keep the party going with dinner at the OG e’cco after and reward yourself for making it through another day with $25 off the bill—as long as you remembered your Urban Feast card.
Attention beer drinkers: your very favourite wing slingers also happen to be fantastic hosts for post-work drinks. Nestle in at Buffalo Bar with a pot or bottle of their US suds and maybe even scoff a few plates of hot wings or a giant hotdog to really loosen that corporate noose.
For those whose office chat tends to get a bit rowdy when you throw some beers into the mix, the Defiant Duck should be your go to. With wings, burgers and hotdogs or just a few free rounds of fries thanks to your Urban Feast card scoring you $25 worth of freebies, they’ve got plenty of room, sports on the big screens and bingo nights every Thursday for when you just need to beat Sally from sales at something (anything will do).
Chu The Phat
Had a BCC fail and in desperate need of a midweek booze up? Chu The Phat dish up a plate of dumplings and a martini for $20 on Wednesdays, and fried chicken and beer for just $10 every Thursday night. Of course, their guava margaritas are good any night of the week, and with an Urban Feast card in your wallet, you’ll basically get every 4th one for free—so bottoms up.
An intimate bar hidden away on the east side of town, Canvas is the perfect spot to get into some serious gossip with your closest co-workers over a few plates of tapas without fear of being overheard. Use the promise of an extra round thanks to your Urban Feast card to really loosen those tongues and find out just who slept with who at last year’s Christmas party.
John Mills Himself
Bootlegging, easyspeaking, investment banking lushes in the know are granted that all important seclusion when they nestle in for after-work drinks at John Mills Himself. When things get out of hand you can always pass out in the laneway and have them wake you up in the morning with fourteen shots of espresso.
With leatherbound sofas and the warm, orange glow of lamplight, The Gresham has created that ever-evasive ambience usually reserved for private clubs and cigar salons, making this Brisbane bar more like a licensed library without books.
A mainstay of after-work drinks, The Bavarian positively heaves in the twilight with stein-toting suits. Meander down when the sun hits the water and raise a tankard to tomorrow’s hangover, in between multiple towers of their salty, buttery fresh pretzels.
Riverbar + Kitchen
With glorious views of the river, a stocked bar and snacks aplenty, Riverbar + Kitchen is a yuppie mecca of beige chinos and blue shirts for after-work drinks. Their shared cocktail jugs are good enough that you may not want to share, but really, the breezy riverside vibe is the real drawcard here.
Blackbird Bar and Grill
Yup, Blackbird's another yuppie paradise on the river (where else?), but damn, it's a goodie. Choose between the Gatsby Bar, so large it’s intimate, or the Speakeasy Bar for complete moral abandonment. Just the thing to refresh your stock of raunchy anecdotes for the water cooler.
Death & Taxes
Death & Taxes is a moody, old-world boozer from the crew that brought us Cobbler and Savile Row, so you know you’re in for a good time once you step through the massive red doors. A four-metre-tall back bar is filled to the rafters with top-notch spirits, so if the dim lighting and leather stools don’t shake you out of your office blues, the uber creative cocktail list sure will.
Just want to spend your after work hours drinking bulk wine? Find Brisbane's best wine bars here.
Image credit: Daniel Hine for Urban List