There's so much to get excited for in Brisbane in the coming years, from a heap of incredible new developments to the Olympics, which right now seems like forever away but you can bet is going to be here in the blink of an eye.
While we wait with bated breath for news of what's coming to Queens Wharf later this year, we've already caught wind of more than a few epic restaurants, bakeries and bars that will be hitting Brisbane soon—here’s all the new openings we’re most looking forward to checking out (hopefully) before the year is out.
Sipping cocktails not enough to entertain you on a night out anymore? Then you’ll want to know about the massive new bar hitting the Valley soon, one described as an “adult’s playground on steroids.” Originally from Melbourne, Ballers Clubhouse is heading for Brisbane, taking over the old site of King Of Kings restaurant on Wickham Street. If you haven’t heard of this crazy, neon-lit venue before, it's basically the ultimate entertainment venues, featuring a karaoke gum ball machine, shuffle boards, high tech darts, ping pong and so much more. As well as incorporating Ballers’ signature games and activities, the Brisbane venue will also feature their interactive cocktails, including creations like The Houdini’s Escape, which comes served in a miniature safe with a code to crack before you can sip your prize, and the Smoky Skull Heist Negroni, which arrives in a black briefcase enshrouded in smoke. It will be opening towards the end of this year, and stay tuned for more info.
Not only is iconic Burleigh pizza slinger Justin Lane coming to Brisbane—meaning we no longer have to drive an hour and a half south to get the goods—but they’re taking over the old Queenslander that Alfred & Constance once called home. With a complete renovation underway (you might have peeped the construction going on in the last few months), we’re hoping Justin Lane Group manages to turn the venue back into the buzzing spot it was before Damian Griffiths’ infamous downfall. If you’re a regular at the Burleigh location, you can expect a similar food and drinks menu to land at the Valley spot, featuring plenty of pizzas, pastas and antipasti, along with those all-too-sippable margaritas and daiquiris. There’s no word on exactly when renovations will be complete just yet, but you can expect to be able to check them out later this year, so stay tuned.
Baker D Chirico
Newstead just keeps getting tastier, but the next addition to the ‘burb is a serious feather in the cap of the burgeoning Gasworks precinct. Dan Chirico, the man behind Melbourne’s Baker D Chirico, is moving to Brisbane—and he’s bringing his incredible bakery with him. We're still waiting for an opening date, but we do know the third location for the group will feature the bakery’s iconic curved timber ceiling as well as artisan baked goods Baker D Chirico is known for. In the lead up to their opening, the team have launched a summer pop-up window so you can get a sneak peek of their breads and pastries—head to their Instagram for times and days.
Pawn & Co
What do a perfumery, snow globe, pawn shop and nightclub have in common? Well, you’ll find a version of them all inside Pawn & Co, the quirky new bar coming to Brisbane this year. Born in Melbourne 11 years ago, where the OG venue is still going strong, this novel experience isn’t just pawn club-themed—you’ll actually be able to buy everything on the shelves. Taking over the space left behind by Laruche on Ann Street, the bar will also feature an actual perfumery, a mechanical snow globe and an automated nail salon—basically, it has to be seen to be believed. Lowry Group is currently hard at work on the fit out, so stay tuned for an opening date soon.
Prepare yourselves taco and tequila lovers, because a Gold Coast institution is heading our way very soon. MexiCali has been slinging Mexican fare to Burleigh locals for almost a decade, and thought it was about time Brisbane got a little taste of the action. Coming to Bulimba, the new venue will dish out MexiCali’s signature tacos, share plates and snacks in a breezy space with its own open-air rooftop with a retractable roof. On the menu you’ll find plenty of favourites from the GC venue, like their jalapeno poppers, morita lamb shoulder and blue swimmer crab tostaditas, alongside sangria, beers, micheladas and fresh new creative cocktails to drink your way through. Stay tuned for updates here.
Fatcow Steak & Lobster
If you, like us, shed a tear when Fatcow Steak & Lobster closed its doors in preparation for the demolition of Eagle Street Pier, we have good news. The Tassis Group has finally found a new location for their much-lauded steak restaurant, and it’s in the heart of James Street. Taking over 10 James Street, previously home to Space Furniture and David Jones, Fatcow will be the first hospitality venue to move into the space, so as you can imagine, there’s a bit to do—hence why it won’t be opening until autumn this year. That’s all we know for now, but stay tuned for more details over the next few months, or follow along for updates here.
If you’re a James Street regular, you might have noticed the bright sunburnt orange hoarding wrapped around what used to be Spoon Deli Cafe and wondered what was happening behind it. Well, we can now tell you that the space will soon be home to ēmmē, a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-inspired venue centred around a woodfire hearth in the kitchen. The creation of Thomas Lian Tze, an ex-Greca chef, ēmmē will be a relaxed, minimalist spot open for breakfast and lunch to begin with, and dinner a little further down the track. Local, seasonal produce will be the hero of the menu, which Tze is staying tight-lipped on for now, but does say will feature everything from Jordanian to Persian influences. An official opening date will come soon, and you can stay tuned for updates here.
The entertainment hub of Queen's Wharf, The Star Brisbane will feature multiple food and beverage, with a heap set to open later this year. The most anticipated venues are definitely those 100 metres up on the Sky Deck, a 250-metre long rooftop area featuring three distinct venues. First, there's Aloria, a steak and seafood spot that will highlight fresh local produce and a dedicated martini menu. For those seeking a more relaxed dining experience, Babblers will be where it's at, dishing up share plates, craft beer and plenty of wines. Finally, Cicadu Blu will be the the bar to go to for those sunset drinks we're all dying to enjoy, with a lengthy list of exotic cocktails to sip your way through. There's so much more coming to the massive precint though, including a sleek new Italian spot—see what else to get excited for here.
Yet another stellar venue from the Tassis Group, who you’ll already know from Opa, Massimo, Fosh and the newly opened Rich & Rare, Longwang is set to land in the CBD in February 2024, bringing contemporary Asian fare to 144 Edward Street. For those not familiar with Chinese mythology, Longwang is a homage to the revered Chinese Dragon King of the Sea—and knowing that almost all of the Tassis Group’s other venues have a heavy seafood focus, we’re expecting the moniker to be a sign of things to come. Though Longwang will be the group’s first foray into Asian cuisine, executive chef and partner in the venture, Jason Margaritis, is well-versed in it, having previously helmed the kitchens at Same Same and Donna Chang. As for the venue itself, we’re very keen to lay eyes on this one, which will be sandwiched into a three-metre wide by 30-metre long space between two buildings, featuring an open-air mezzanine bar above a sophisticated dining area. Stay tuned for more details or follow them for updates here.
Lover of French food and all the buttery goodness it entails? Then you’ll want to keep an eye out for the Valley’s new Petite when it opens soon. The latest venue from the team behind Happy Boy and Snackman, Petite will be joining its sister venues on East Street, taking over a sizable space on the corner with Ann and James Streets. A mammoth renovation is underway to join what was previously three separate tenancies, adding a mezzanine level and open plan kitchen, as well as an al fresco dining area outside. If you don’t want to wait to sample the goods, the team is testing plates and concepts at Mini right next door, a pop-up venue which has taken over the old Kid Curry space for ever-changing concept explorations and collabs.
The Wright House
Coming to South City Square from the Talisman Group soon is The Wright House, a massive brewpub and steakhouse that is going to make a serious splash when it finally lands. The huge two-level venue will feature tanks brewing Aether Brewing beers, an open, wood-fired kitchen, and both indoor and outdoor seating areas. The bit we’re really excited about though, is The Office, a hidden, Mad Men-inspired steakhouse that seats just 30 diners. With a fit out that will feel like an old school office, here you’ll be tucking into juicy steaks and saucy ribs paired with baked potato and mac ‘n’ cheese. Whichever venue you’re more keen to get a booking at, stay tuned for more details soon.
If you haven’t heard of it, Supernormal is a bit of a Melbourne institution. Headed up by hospo legend Andrew McConnell, the popular eatery is reminiscent of a buzzing Asian dining hall, with a lobster roll on the menu that has a cult following. And soon, it will join the growing list of southern venues and chefs heading our way, with the restaurant opening in Brisbane. Set to land at the base of 443 Queen Street (the mega residential tower between Eagle Street Pier and Howard Smith Wharves currently under construction), the new venue will be designed by ACME, the architecture and interior design firm behind McConnell’s Gimlet at Cavendish House, which just made the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list—so we’re expecting it to be a stunner. We’re not sure how long we have to wait for this one, but we bet it’s going to be worth it.
West End's Thomas Dixon Centre, the home of Queensland Ballet, has just undergone a huge $100 million makeover, but the face lift isn't going to end there. Spearheaded by Simon Barakat, the restauranteur behind Il Verde in Bowen Hills, the precinct is about to score a new cafe, rooftop function space and best of all, an underground bar and restaurant. Bunker Barre will be taking up residence in the old World War II bunkers in the building's basement, and will be a moody, glamorous spot where you can dine on a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean-inspired menu while you sip cocktails and champagne. Details are slim for now, but we'll keep you posted with more news when we have it.
Bombora And Mulga Bill's
Considering just how many bridges crisscross the Brisbane River, it was only a matter of time before we got our first restaurant on a bridge, and the new green bridge currently under construction from Kangaroo Point to the city is set to score just that. Not one, but two dining venues will eventually call the bridge home (what an address to have, right?), with Tassis Group, the team behind eateries like Opa, Massimo and Yamas just named the successful tenderer for the site. The first, Bombora, will be a luxe celebration of land and sea, with the name an Indigenous term for large sea waves which break over a submerged reef or sand bar. The second, Mulga Bill’s (named for Banjo Patterson’s poem), will be all about casual, all-day dining, dishing up wood fired pizzas, picnic boxes and grab and go pastries and coffee—perfect for commuters using the bridge to head to work. Considering the bridge is yet to span the river, we’ve got a while to wait to check them out, but the opening of both venues is currently expected sometime in 2024.
If you and your crew are the kind of friend group that can never decide on one cuisine for your dinner plans, a new venue that will solve all your problems is heading to the Chinatown Mall in the Valley soon. Coming to us from the team behind Halo Ground, one of our fave Fortitude Valley cafes, Mr Duncan will be a massive restaurant and bar that features not one but five different kitchens, each with entirely unique menus. The collective-style concept means everyone in your group can order something completely different and eat them together—ideal for anyone with totally different tastes to their friends. While the menus aren’t yet locked in, we do know that there’ll be Japanese, Vietnamese and a meat-centric offering, with different line ups for lunch and dinner.
You’ll find Brisbane's best new restaurants of late here.
Image credit: Baller Clubhouse | Supplied