For those who’ve not had the fortune of a European or North American ski holiday, and may be less familiar with the term “après”, it’s a French word that translates to “after” and affectionately describes the activity of drinking and socialising after sport.
Given our beach-bum lifestyle, it’s a neat name for a new Gold Coast bar and eatery that was inspired by co-owner Richard O’Hanlon’s time working in the Swiss Alps.
Together with his business partner, James Angell—the man with the cooking skills—the local lads have brought home their passion for post-sport/work socialising, opening Après Surf in Mermaid Beach.
Having spent multiple winter seasons living in Canada (and working in one of the most renowned après-ski bars myself), I can wholeheartedly agree with their desire to keep this dream alive and engrain the same culture on the surf coast.
Après Surf is a new watering hole with an old soul. The bar and diner is an eclectic blend of gems from Richard and James’ own collections, reflecting their personal style and easy-going characters— think vintage-esque furniture, black and white chequered flooring, warm wood panelled walls, framed band posters, skateboard decks (a rare photographic Rennie Ellis collectors’ edition by Pass-Port), potted and hanging plants, and bric-a-brac.
Grab a seat in the front patio or pull up a stool and let the smiling gents behind the bar pour you a Little Creatures Pale Ale, a local Fortitude brew (taps will rotate), or one of a dozen different craft beers by the bottle. Rum and international whiskeys are also favoured at Après Surf.
For something a little different, the low-key menu—inspired by Richard’s time in the Alps—exudes a European twist. The early favourite is the chilli kransky German sausage baguette topped with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. We also devoured the Asahi beer-battered cod and kewpie wombok slaw burger, with a massive side serving of shoestring fries, caramelised lemons, and a house-smoked tomato sauce.
The boys are hoping their laid-back bar slash diner becomes the neighbourhood watering hole of Mermaid Beach residents, and they look forward to welcoming old friends in for a tipple as well as meeting new ones.
After a cheeky post-work visit for a beer and a banter with the lads, we reckon this joint will be a sweet hang-out spot for after surfing, after sun-worshiping, or anytime really!
You’ll find Après Surf open from 4pm till late every day except Tuesdays, across the road from Alfred’s Apartment.
Where: 2376 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
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: Brooke Darling for Metropolist