Exotic Pets Presents | Gold Coast Gets A New Pop-up Bar For Summer

By Brooke Darling
11th Dec 2015

Did someone say, “hello summer pop-up bar?!”

Tim Glasson is the long-standing bar manager at red-hot Mermaid Beach Japanese establishment, Etsu Izakaya where he’s been instrumental in helping Etsu reach cult-like status and topping the ranks among Gold Coast’s best restaurants. But Tim’s dream has always been to operate his own bar, a dream that will become a reality any day now.

He’s paired up with dynamic duo, Nerissa and Mitch McCluskey of Etsu and Burleigh’s Commune Café, to develop 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.

So, the crew want us to know each bar will be here for a good time, not a long time!

Just this week, Exotic Pets announced their first project will be a fun tiki-themed venue called Aloha Bar and Dining. Taking the keys early November, the small team has worked tirelessly over the last five weeks or so to completely deck-out a vacant space in Broadbeach (including a goddamn kitchen!).

Teasing us via their Instagram account as the fit-out progressed, these sneak peeks show Aloha Bar and Dining will embrace tiki theming with a nautical twist. Think beachy Hawaiian and Caribbean feel-good vibes, with features including a palm frond-fringed bar, handmade recycled wood furnishings, retro cane stools, and décor details like massive wood carvings, palm tree motifs, glass fishing floats, weathered ropes, and wallpaper splashed with banana plantation-print and 1950s pin-up sailor girls. There’s even a Hello Sailor room!

Given his bartending expertise, not surprisingly Tim is passionate about plans for Aloha’s beverage offerings. Eager to support other small businesses, there will be local craft beer from Burleigh Brewing, Stone and Wood, Newstead Brewing plus more, as well as stocking small batch boutique spirits produced by artisan distillers from North Queensland to Tasmania.

Metropolist will be first in line for creative cocktails dressed with extravagant garnishes and served up in funky vessels. We’re envisaging ceramic tiki mugs and hollowed coconuts! And also anticipating pineapples will be making an appearance in a variety of forms…Fun!

“Hawaiian cuisine is heavily influenced by Polynesian cooking,” Tim explains, which will be a big focus of Aloha’s eclectic tasting menu; along with splashes of SE Asian, Japanese, and Spanish. He stressed it’ll be simple, although we can’t forget one half of the team brought us Etsu and Commune, so simple will no doubt equal extra spesh.

Exotic Pets are busting with excitement to share their baby with the world, and are currently working through final official paperwork, before making the much-anticipated announcement of their opening date.

Peeps are encouraged to give a thumbs up to their Facebook page, Exotic Pets Presents which will be the go-to information source for both the current pop up venue, as well as where they’ll release news of future pop-up projects.

While we can’t divulge the top secret location just yet, we can say it’s tucked off the main strip of Broadbeach. On first visit, it won’t be super easy to find either, which will make it all the more illustrious in our books!

Aloha Bar and Dining will be open Wednesdays to Sundays, from 6pm until late.

Where: a Broadbeach backstreet, check back for more details!


When Brooke Darling is not travelling to far flung places or sailing around the world, she’s scouring the coast for the best ethnic food, new openings, and hidden gems, all in the name of research for Metropolist. She loves motorbike rides to the hinterland, learning (frustratingly) to surf, and will try any adventure sport at least once. Find her on Instagram @darlingisamrs 

Photo Credit: The Urban List and 

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