It appears the hospo elves are showering us with gifts this year, folks!
We’ve been slightly overwhelmed by all the newbies popping into our inbox of late, so we’re squeezing them into one handy summer holiday hit list. Please correct us if we’re wrong, but this must be the most unprecedented few months of growth the Gold Coast’s eating and drinking scene has ever witnessed?
And it doesn’t end here, peeps. We’ve got another handful of showcases up our sleeve over the next week, before the fat man in the red suit is kindly giving us a leave pass to put our feet up and join the rest of you lot in eating and drinking our way across the Gold Coast and back again. Cheers to the silly season!
Tucked a few blocks away from the main beachside action, where you probably wouldn’t venture unless you were a Coolangatta/Tweed regular, is the Gold Coast’s newest vegetarian offering, SOZO Square. We had a cheeky peek this week and can attest this will be a gem if you appreciate a lovingly-crafted plant-based meal. Served inside a fresh, sun-drenched dining space with floor to ceiling windows, gorgeous tiles underfoot, potted palms, and Balinese wood accents, head in for the toasted maple macadamia vegan crepes for brekkie or a satay stir-fry with Japanese panko-crusted tofu for lunch. Mmmm.
Where: 20 Stuart Street, Tweed Heads
The Island Rooftop
Those of you who hit up The Rubens concert early December will agree this sprawling rooftop bar has some serious potential. Who wants to be stuck indoors when there are balmy starry summer nights beckoning and sunshine beers to be sunk? Previously known as The Islander, this pink vintage Surfers Paradise hotel is currently undergoing a facelift and mega reno that’ll see it re-launched early 2017 as The Island—a funky four-and-a-half-star boutique hotel. Don’t think we’re serious? The guy behind it all, Raphael Bickle, is well-known for his Brisbane institutions Cloudland, Empire Hotel, and Press Club. Intriguing, eh? We can’t wait to see the finished product… but they couldn’t wait that long, so have dropped a teaser in time for Christmas. Party people, if you can look past the semi-construction site exterior for now, The Island Rooftop has just opened Wednesdays to Sundays, 3pm ‘til late. Go christen it, it’s silly season after all!
Where: The Island (previously The Islander), 3128 Surfers Paradise, Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
While we’re yet to test the waters ourselves, we’re giving this team a bill of confidence based on reputation alone. Yep, it’s true, the crew behind legendary Gold Coast nightspot Elsewhere has just opened a sister venue that they’re dubbing as a precursor to the main event. Eep! Aptly named, Wherelse is their bold response to crushing lock-out legislation that’s changing the local nightlife landscape before their eyes. Opening seven days from the friendly hour of 5pm, Wherelse will primarily be a live music destination and launch pad platform for up and coming musos, ensuring the local music scene has a healthy future. Next time you find yourself ready for some Surfers after-dark toe-tapping and shimmying that doesn’t involve lingerie-clad bartenders (WTAF?), Wherelse might be just the spot.
Where: 4 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Studio Surf is a new project by Rhythm surfwear founder Jamahl Grey and Maywood Handcrafted creator Matt Gillett. Setting up next door to Mount Woodgee in Burleigh, this cool store is part barista bar (also serving grab-n-go gourmet pies, ‘cause Straya), part boutique surf wear and board store. Though what makes this compact venue extra special, is dedicated space in the rear for the gents to welcome recently graduated design students as interns. Here they’ll share their design skills and other practical industry advice providing grads a valuable stepping stone to working in the industry. High five, Jamahl and Matt!
Where: Shop 2, 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Kiss The Berry
You lot went a little cray when we breathed news that this Brisbane acai bowl specialist was spreading its wings to the Gold Coast. After a breezy, beach-y fit out of a highly sort after space in downtown Burleigh, Kiss The Berry quietly opened its doors with little fanfare last weekend—just in time for summer. We devoured the Hello Burleigh acai bowl that was overflowing with frozen goodness and topped with granola, watermelon, pitaya, strawberries, pomegranate, lychee coconut yogurt, and bee pollen. Yeah we did!
Where: 9 Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
Cocowhip by Live Naturally
If we weren’t already spoilt for choice at Robina Town Centre’s new gluttony-inducing foodie precinct, The Kitchens, along comes Cocowhip By Live Naturally. Once you’ve persevered through the manic Christmas shopping crowds, reward yourself with a yummy vegan-friendly Cocowhip treat, or protein balls and protein smoothies. All the much-loved flavours like Cacao Bliss, African Mango, and Minty Matcha will be there, plus we’ve got our eyes on essential topping combos featuring the likes of their signature Veganola, vibrant seasonal fruit and berries, nuts and chia seeds, shredded coconut, and dark chocolate bark. Practically guilt-free!
Where: The Kitchens, Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina
Coolangatta Sands Hotel
We love seeing new life breathed into the Coast’s golden oldies, which is just what’s happened at the historic Coolangatta Sands Hotel. Sure the bar flies are still there in the sports bar, but they’ve given the exterior a lick of crisp white paint, and poured energy into the new bistro slash lounge “Kirrabelle Kitchen” and The Alley Bar out back. What was once a grungy graffiti-filled laneway has been splashed with dreamy murals by artist Gus. With summer in full swing, we reckon The Alley Bar will be a fun option for sunshine drinks post a fun surf or swim, and private hire for a vibing party or casual event.
Where: Corner Griffith and Mclean Street, Coolangatta
Ruby + Green
We adore this buzzing Burleigh arcade already, so we were a wee bit stoked to hear a new cafe was entering the fold in December. Okay, so the space is already there (remember Urbanistar?), but it’s in the midst of planning a special makeover as we speak and relaunching as Ruby + Green. We’ve been drooling over pretty brekkie teasers on their Instagram account and did we mention they’re brewing Blackboard? Sorry Canteen Kitchen, we love you, and will never leave you, but we’re giving this newbie a nudge next time we’re brunching in James Street.
Where: Burleigh Arcade, off James Street, Burleigh Heads
Photo Credit: Moriah Overell for Metropolist