While you’re still dusting off the cobwebs from a hazy festive season and reminiscing what was a stellar year for growth, new additions and general awesomeness in 2017, we truly feel 2018 will be the Coast’s pinnacle year to shine.
From a new gin distillery to a brewery in the valley, beach clubs, a permanent BBQ-themed night market, a rooftop bar and restaurant to rival the country’s best, mega parties and more new eateries and watering holes than you can poke a fork at, honestly, why would you want to be living anywhere else?
Margot Robbie Eat Your Heart Out—Ink Gin’s Tumbulgum Distillery
Instagram proved its influential power last year, when one innocent ‘gram by GC lass and Hollywood A-Lister Margot Robbie sipping on ‘that purple drink’ (at Bam Bam Bakehouse, no less) put this local distiller in the headlines. Husk Distillers, a humble Northern Rivers NSW family-owned and operated business, once happily serviced their market out of a backyard shed on their fertile cane and cattle farm. Exploding in popularity thanks to their iconic Ink Gin brand, in 2018 they’ll swing back the doors to a majestic, purpose-built gin and rum distillery complete with tasting room and onsite restaurant championing local produce. A scenic 20-minute drive southwest of Coolangatta and farm-to-bottle in every sense of the word, we can’t wait for this one!
Paddock To Pint Glass—Currumbin Valley’s New Craft Brewery
With their very own natural spring water source on site, upcycled milk vats in the brewhouse, locally-sourced ingredients and intentions to transfer all spent grain and yeast directly to farmers and hungry cows in the surrounding valley, you could say Currumbin Valley Brewing’s new brewery will be the Coast’s first paddock-to-pint glass experience—and we are frothing! Launching their first brews to market late 2016, including the punchy 8% Look Out! Double IPA, Smokey and Luke from Currumbin Valley Brewing have been gypsy brewing over the past year while locking in council approvals to build their countryside brewery. We’re eager to watch a humble backyard shed, deep in our beloved Currumbin Valley, be turned into one of the most characterful farmhouse breweries Queensland has ever seen. The lads aim to start brewing onsite around autumn, with stage two plans down the track for an offsite taphouse nearby. Yass! We’ll be back with more teasers when the first brews are busily fermenting, ready for your drinking pleasure. Cheers for local craft beers!
Southern Gold Coast’s New Community Gathering Hub—Cornerstones Stores
Personally, mega Westfield shopping centre developments just don’t push our buttons. Instead, it is thoughtful, purpose-built retail precincts that double as a community-gathering place—like Tugun-Currumbin’s new Cornerstones Stores—which we can’t wait to visit in 2018. Cornerstone Stores is a labour of love for a family of long-time locals, who’ve held onto this Gold Coast Highway-side block for the last four years while they planned their build. On track to open early February, we can expect a stylin’ new licensed cafe, Stable Coffee & Kitchen; a new yoga, Pilates and meditation centre by The Body Method; Quince fromagerie (with a freakin’ walk-in cheese room); organic hairdresser Zanzi Hair; plus curated lifestyle boutiques Kind Curations and Prae Store. Yep, February can’t come soon enough!
The Biggest Party The Coast Has Ever Seen
Unless you’ve already been swept up in the excitement of hustling for tickets to the sporting events, chances are you’re reluctantly sitting idle, unsure what to make of April’s looming Commonwealth Games. With 6,000-plus athletes and team officials, plus thousands of additional media and visiting spectators descending on the Coast for the event, there’s no hiding that shit is about to get real, and soon. Though take it from us, who’ve personally lived through a mega international sporting event of similar scope, that apprehension and fear of the unknown is a natural reaction. Sure, we’ll be inconvenienced moving around and may need to make some major alternative work arrangements for a few weeks (can you work from home or take a week-long staycay?). Just whatever you do, jump on the bloody bus or GLink and get yourself along to Broadbeach, Bundall and other key locations where free activations and events are taking place. From pop-up nation houses to medal presentations, free music concerts, cultural arts events and impromptu street parties; honestly, the electrifying atmosphere, flag-waving patriotism and down-right 12-day party we’re about to experience will induce goose bumps and is something you’re unlikely to experience again in your lifetime, especially in your own home town. Get excited, Gold Coast, the Commonwealth Games are almost here and if you take a deep breath and just get amongst it, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. PS: Tickets are still available to several sporting events, check out your options here.
Surfers Paradise’s Mega Asian Hawker Market—8 Street
Due to open autumn 2018, Surfers Paradise’s new 8 Street dining precinct will cover 2,000 square meters and have seating for over 1,000 hungry peeps. We’ve been told the hawker-style market will feature six permanent Asian restaurants and 30+ street food stalls, plus a freakin’ Asian beer and sake bar. In case your mouth isn’t already watering, be prepared for cuisine representations from Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, plus more, and flavour-packed eats like BBQ duck, pho, bi bim bap, banh mi, rice paper rolls, laksa, ramen, roti, rice noodle soups, dumplings and dim sum with authentic chefs bringing their traditions and skills from the mother countries. With lots of dark wood, hanging paper lanterns, oriental styling, steaming woks, flaming barbecues, wafting aromas and chatter from diners, it’s sure to be sensory overload and, even better, cheeeeeap!
Burleigh’s New Permanent Night Market—BBQ Bazaar
Picture this: a warehouse in the middle of a west Burleigh industrial estate is currently being converted into a bustling foodie marketplace, packed with stalls dishing up more barbecue-inspired eats than you could possibly try in one visit. Sounds like some kind of dream, huh? Wrong! The Gold Coast is VERY close to welcoming yet another cool permanent night market. Yep, get ready folks, ‘cause you are soon to be hearing a helluva lot more about BBQ Bazaar. Firstly, let us mentally walk you through the grand dome-roof entrance, where you’ll wander an atmospheric indoor-outdoor warehouse street food market, with live music and DJs every Friday and Saturday night, casual seating for 550+ people at any one time, a dedicated area for the kids, various wine and cocktail bars and #allofthefood. We kid you not. From smaller tapas-style dishes to full-blown meals and irresistible desserts, these guys will be making sure no one will be left hungry on their watch. While the official launch is still a month or two off, in the meantime we’ll just sit here salivating in anticipation.
Sky-High Hangs—The Star’s 19th Floor Rooftop Bar & Restaurant
It’s already being lauded as Australia’s best rooftop (big call, but we reckon they’re right on the money). With hospitality heavyweights Simon Gloftis and Billy Cross teaming up with The Star Gold Coast to bring a mind-blowing $20-million sky high investment to the palms of our hands. While our pockets aren’t likely deep enough to ever stay overnight (let alone gamble), we’re already swooning over the name of the new six-star hotel—The Darling. Fortunately though, we’ll be gifted direct access to The Darling’s new rooftop entertainment complex. The star of the show will be a fanciful 110-seat modern Australian restaurant overlooking a luxe infinity pool with wrap around views of the shimmering Gold Coast skyline. The restaurant will adjoin a swish-as-hell lounge bar complete with a six-star fit out, staggering capacity for 500 guests and, we predict, a killer rotation of touring DJs. There’s also talk of an upstairs VIP dining room slash bar for 30 and another exclusive 80-person seat VIP bar that’s connected via an internal stairway. Notorious for playing their cards close to their chests, we understand we’re only weeks away from learning the next round of juicy deets, from the name, décor, menu teasers and, most importantly, the date we can block off in our calendar to ensure we’re first through the door for swanky cocktails, epic 19th-floor views and a sweet taste of the Gold Coast of the future.
Burleigh’s Bangin’ New Beachfront Bar—The Burleigh Pavilion
Coming to Burleigh Heads in the spring of 2018, and taking over the entire top floor of Burleigh's most iconic beachside building, this new hip and happening bistro slash bar slash beach club will be affordable and welcoming to everyone. Taking full advantage of the rare, absolute beachfront location, we predict The Beach Pavilion will deliver expansive sunny patios for soaking up those salty sea breezes, multiple bars, event space, an effortlessly stylish bistro with a coastal-inspired menu, smooth beats, beautiful people and good times on the reg. Brought to you by the same crew behind Sydney's popular Manly Wharf Hotel, Mrs Sippys in Double Bay and the fabulous Seminyak beach club of the same name, you know they’ll bring the best of everything to this project (not to mention a whopping investment of $6 million), while tailoring it to the young and vibrant Gold Coast market.
TV’s Glittering Night Of Nights—Gold Coast To Host The Logies
Fans of the small screen got all misty-eyed late last year when news broke the Gold Coast would be hosting The Logies—TV’s glittering night of nights —for the next four years. Secured in conjunction with The Star Gold Coast, who will no doubt be thrusting imagery of their spectacular new rooftop restaurant and bar into the national spotlight in the process, you can’t help but admit it’s gonna be pretty cool! Whether you’ve got a soft spot for Waleed, Jessica Marais or even Alf Stewart, come May 2018 they’ll all be right here on the red carpet and, who knows, probably your neighbour the next morning sipping coffee at Elk Espresso. Now… how do we get tickets?!
More New Restaurants, Bars & Cafes Than You Can Poke A Fork At
It almost goes without saying the flood of new restaurants, bars and cafes into our local dining scene will not slow in 2018. With that in mind, we hope you’re all eating out multiple times weekly to keep them patronised! Here at The Urban List HQ, our books are already overflowing with noteworthy additions, from Poke Poke’s new sister in Mermaid Beach, FuFu’s American-style Chinese eatery; Bam Bam Bakehouse’s new Chinderah cafe, Cubby Bakehouse; the Ridgeway dream team’s Runaway Bay rooftop and restaurant, Gotham Grill & Rooftop; a James Squire Brewhouse in Broadbeach; Miss Moneypenny’s and Fat Freddy’s setting up shop under Avani Apartments; plus a whole swag we’re not even allowed to tell you about yet. Eep! One thing is for sure, you will NOT go hangry this year. Tag your mates and tell your overseas BFFs it’s time to come home, ‘cause the Gold Coast is seriously on fire in 2018 and you wouldn’t wanna miss a thing.
Hangry right now? Have you tried Burleigh’s ridic new yakitori and whisky bar yet?
Image credit: Husk Distillers