Over the past few months a not-so-secret project has been brewing away in Broadbeach.
While official paperwork took a little longer than anticipated, today Exotic Pets (proudly) Presents its first ever pop-up—Aloha Bar and Dining. Are. You. Ready??
Metropolist got a cheeky sneak peek at the action last night, and all we can say is, WOW! With a few extra weeks up their sleeves, the crew that brought us hugely popular Etsu Izakaya and Commune Café have outdone themselves in hand-building a super fun bar and eatery which they are stoked to finally share with the world.
Posts on Instagram and Facebook successfully teased and intrigued us, but a visit in the flesh blew all preconceptions out of the water.
Owners Tim Glasson, together with Nerissa and Mitch McCluskey have been getting crafty with all manner of nautical knick-knacks and island-themed paraphernalia, creating a buzzing space with nooks and tiki-styled rooms that sucker you in to keep exploring.
From the jungle-esque secret entry way, to the bold pineapple and pin-up girl wallpaper designs, tutti-frutti fabrics, cane stools, gold embellishments, graffiti art, bamboo and upcycled wood details, and a faux palm tree growing in the middle of the main room, you can’t help but walk around with a massive smile on your face.
On launch night, we were treated to the hip-swaying sounds of an authentic Caribbean steel-drum duo, who’ll grace the small stage on occasion along with other live acts.
Developed by Etsu’s executive chef, the casual Hawaiian slash Caribbean slash Asian-inspired menu features tasty goodies like Kalua slow-roasted pork belly presented in a hollowed pineapple, Caribbean curried barramundi, and tuna “Poke” (a traditional Hawaiian raw fish salad dish) served with warm coconut rice and crispy wontons. The main fare will be served alongside bar snacks such as oysters, roasted chic peas and almonds, salmon coconut ceviche, and sea-salted plantain chips with tangy pineapple guacamole for dipping. Is your mouth watering yet?
Expert mixologist and co-owner Tim Glasson, has made an emphasis on stocking small-batch beer and spirits behind the bar, supporting Aussie craft brewers and distillers. He’s aptly proud of Aloha’s carefully-curated cocktail offerings featuring the “Dark Side and Stormy” which Tim describes as a dark and stormy with a twist—made with Fernet-Branca (a bitter herbal digestive), crème de mure (blackberry liqueur), and homemade ginger beer. Or the classic and extra boozy “Zombi” (it’s stiff, and the barman will cut you off after two).
Cocktails are served in some seriously funky vessels like ceramic tiki, Darth Vader, and tin Pussers Rum mugs, and there’s even a booze-loaded treasure chest perfect for sharing.
What we love most is the team have focused on creating a soul-warming environment that they’d want to hang out in themselves. And a venue that welcomes those of us who are well past a night out in Surfers (or a Komune Sunday Session, for instance) but who are still keen on heading out to a happening joint for a convo, cocktails, grooving, and socialising on occasion. Or always. Whatever takes your fancy.
And we think they’ve nailed it.
Finding Aloha is half the fun, hidden away down a tidy service laneway, behind the main drag of Broadbeach.
Due to its tricky-to-find location, don’t expect to see a this-looks-like-fun-we-just-stumbled-in crowd. Everyone gracing the space has hunted the bar down and are genuinely stoked to be hanging out with the like-minded and cool in-the-know clientele.
Aloha Bar and Dining is the first project for Exotic Pets Presents. Their concept is to take short-term leases in various areas around the Coast, popping up specially-themed bars and casual eateries, that they hope will be packed to the rafters with jolly revellers who’ll be eager to follow their ventures from one pop-up to the next.
Jump on over to their Facebook page and throw them a thumbs up, as it’ll be the go-to information source for both the current venue, as well as where they’ll release news of future pop-up projects.
Aloha Bar and Dining will be open from 6pm until midnight, Wednesday to Sunday. But don’t forget, they’ll be around for a good time, not a long time. So get down there, STAT.
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach
Photo Credit: Brooke Darling for Metropolist