Bars & Pubs

10 Hidden Bars In Brisbane With Secret Entrances

By Annabelle Allpass

Is it just us, or is it that the harder you have to look, the more awesome the bar? We’ve trekked down random alleyways, taken our chances at nondescript suburban shops and crept under strip clubs all in search of Brisbane’s hidden bars. And find them we did.

At these drinking establishments you’ll find excellent G&Ts, killer cocktails and a sense of mystery, all in the one spot. From walking through fridge doors and venturing into Narnia-esque wardrobe cupboards, here are the best hidden bars Brisbane has to offer.

The Tailors 

16A Logan Road, Woolloongabba 

The Tailors in the Gabba is where you can live out all your Kingsman dreams, although unfortunately sans Eggsy. Head through the front door of an unsuspecting and impressively kitted out tailor shop and you won't in fact find a spot to get your perfect suit, or a grenade posing as a lighter. You will however, saunter your way through to a narrow, art deco, rum-focussed speakeasy bar. This is a late light destination, think after dinner cocktails or special-occasion pre-drinks—you won't find a steak or hearty pasta here. What you will find are rums from the Caribbean, Central America and Australia, both in their classic form and incorporated throughout their lengthy cocktail list.  

Copacabana Club

24 Logan Road, Woolloongabba

Image: Mr Badgers & The Copacabana Club. 

One of three secret bars in this quiet Woolloongabba cul-de-sac, Copacabana Club is hidden inside Mr Badgers, where you’ll find a literal tram inside a funky deli and cafe. Don’t let the novel seating area draw you in however (or do, if you’ve got time to spare), because to get to Copacabana Club you have to matter-of-factly strut right down the back, into what seems like a staff room, complete with managers office, staff lockers and uniforms haphazardly hanging from above. Ignore the ‘Staff Only’ sign on that office door—walk straight on through to find an explosion of fairy lights contrasting a night-sky view, distinctly New York-slash-italian decor and expertly made cocktails awaiting you at the bar.

The Nixon Room 

Unit 3/181 Robertson Street, Fortitude Valley 

Image: The Nixon Room | Instagram.

The Nixon Room’s door looks straight out of a design magazine, though you have to keep your eyes peeled to find it. Down a fig lined alleyway you’ll spot an umarked golden door, masterfully adorned by James Street’s signature climbing greenery. Push your way through (carefully, it swings both ways) and settle into the moody marble surrounds of The Nixon Room. If you manage to snag a seat in the tiny, dimly-lit space, you can cosy up on the leather lounges and order up creative snacks and endless cocktails. Martinis are the signature sip here, but you'll also find a handful of other concoctions as well as wines by the glass on the concise menu. Sitting up to 20 people at a time, it doesn’t get more exclusive than this.

Next Episode

5/27 Cordelia Street, South Brisbane 

Image: Next Episode | Instagram.

Walking along South Brisbane’s  Fish lane any night of the week you’ll catch a purple glow spilling out onto the street from one particular shopfront. This purple glow is coming from an empty yet open barbershop, where on a wall adjacent to a big mirror hangs an old school red phone. Lyrics from Young Thug’s smash hit glow in neon and read ‘pick up the phone, baby’ and when you do, you’ll be asked for the secret code. Get it right and what was once a giant mirror opens to a reveal pulsing bar. This bar? It’s called Next Episode. A giant Notorious B.I.G mural overlooks the fun of the bar, while DJs pump out the latest and greatest hip hop and RnB vibes. Drinks on the menu pay homage to all sorts of hip hop greats like the Hendricks Lamar with Hendricks gin, aloe vera nectar, fresh citrus and housemade syrup. If you’re looking for the coolest hidden bar in Brisbane, this is it.

The Walrus Club 

543A Coronation Drive, Toowong

Image: The Walrus Club | Instagram.

As college students dance the night away at The RE a few blocks away, and those more their parents' demographic enjoy a luxe meal at The Boatshed upstairs, something brews underneath The Regatta. The smell of Cuban cigars and rum (perhaps one of the 300 kinds they serve below deck) wafts from a dark, humble staircase marked only with a single walrus—you’ve found The Walrus Club. Descend down said stairs and you'll probably be met with the sounds of a jazz band. The exposed brick and hidden nooks are lit with wax-dripping candles and conjure the perfect date vibe, as bartenders get to work slinging impressive cocktails and spirits. Hot tip, don’t order off the menu—tell the bartender what kind of flavours and spirits you like and they’ll whip you up something entirely new. 

The Boiler Room

Level 1/210 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley
Image: The Boiler Room | Facebook. 

Tomcat is a long-term Valley resident—though tucked in a tight spot next to Prohibition, its neon red sign is unmistakable. If you look beyond the pool table, a door sneakily blends into a mural of Bill Murray so well that you have to move closer to spot it. Through this door is The Boiler Room—a hipper, more grown-up, moved-out-of-home-older-sibling version of the grungy bar just next door. Pull up to the bar for some vintage champagne or charcuterie boards to share and choose a cocktail you're sure to like from their novel of a cocktail list. 

Mrs J Rabbits

23 Logan Road, Woolloongabba

Image: Mrs J Rabbits | Instagram.

Stored away in Woolloongabba’s Electric Avenue is Mrs J Rabbits—a password-locked speakeasy-style bar. Slink up the antique stairs and look for a regular wardrobe (peep the golden gatekeeper on top), enter the password obtained from downstairs and enter the hidden bar Narnia-style—straight through the cupboard. Inside you’ll find the dark academia vibe of your dreams as well as a condensed cocktail list featuring hits like Aslan’s Pride, a rich winter-perfect blend of Johnnie Walker Black, vanilla liqueur, fig vincotto, chocolate, strawberry and lemon. Perhaps you’d rather something a little fierier, in which case the Jabberwocky is for you—gin, cognac, oloroso, strawberry, Earl Grey tea and rhubarb are shaken together, set alight and sent to your moodily lit table. 

The Mermaid Bar 

15 Caxton Street, Petrie Terrace

Image: The Mermaid Bar | Instagram.

There is truly not another bar in Brisbane that even comes close to The Mermaid Bar inside Lefty’s Music Hall. Disguised as a fire escape door, the hidden entrance is child’s play compared to the decor awaiting inside. A giant shark leaps from one corner, perhaps to dodge the fish netting covering the ceiling while a massive ship sits gloriously behind the impressively stocked bar. Old school diving helmets, ship memorabilia and tattoo-style sirens are dotted around the bar—the only thing missing is one of those funny singing wall fish. There’s an extensive cocktail list but take it on expert recommendation that you order a whiskey apple with fresh apple juice. 

Savile Row

667 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley 

Image: Savile Row. 

Tucked behind an unassuming little orange door is the entrance to Savile Row—a swanky cocktail bar that’s definitely too good for your 3am self. When you enter (pre-tequila shots, if you please), you can’t miss the enormous chandelier over the bar that lights up the giant wall of spirits and an uber-cool wall decal. Perched on your stool at the bar, you can watch pro bartenders sling downright works of art like the Rosie Beginnings—a combination of vodka, chamomile-infused lillet blanc, hibiscus cordial, lemon, soda and topped with the most impressive foam we may have ever seen. 

Greaser Bar 

259 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley 

Image: Greaser Bar. 

The first challenge is finding Greaser Bar down the creepy alley it calls home, but take it from us—the real challenge is leaving in one piece with the same amount of sins you came in with. The underground bar serves both as a playground for young bands to break into the Valley music scene and hangout spot for stars (yes, I met Freddy Crabs there one night). Aside from drinks galore, classic cheeseburgers and banging fried chicken flies out of the kitchen here and into regular and devoted customer’s mouths.

Prefer not to have to follow secrect clues to a hidden bar in Brisbane? Scope out these Brisbane rooftop bars instead. 

Image credit: The Tailors, Copacabana Club, Next Episode, Dino Renda, NIRA Creative, Saville Row

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