How much good stuff can happen in the first half of the year? Srsly. If there’s a limit, we must be almost hitting it.
But, not before a brand new Steampunk-themed bar and restaurant opens its doors in Surfers Paradise this week and we think you ought to know about it!
So, what is Steampunk exactly? The answer, we’ve found, is somewhat on the complex side. To save ourselves from dribbling a lot of mumbo jumbo and risk looking as though we have noooo idea what we’re talking about, we’re shamelessly reverting to a trusty ol’ Google search to help us out.
“Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery” or “A style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction”. Kapeesh?
While the owners have had connections with the Gold Coast for some time, they originally hail from Tassie where they run a thriving classic Victorian-style hotel and restaurant. And, given Steampunk is essentially from the 19th century British Victorian era, they loved the connection and felt this project would make a stellar new addition to the best bars in Surfers Paradise.
Basically, these guys have gone all out with the Steampunk theming; commissioning artwork and custom-made everything. Expect cogs, piping, and machinery gauges; antique clocks and post-apocalyptic gas masks, industrial fans, grandeur period leather couches and lamps, exposed globes, all surrounded by a copper-coloured bar, walls and flooring. There’s a lot to admire as you wander around.
But what about the food and bevvie offerings, we hear you ask? Well, let’s start with the most important thing first. They are shaking $10 espresso martinis all day, erryday. True story! No matter what the hour (‘cause it’s five o’clock somewhere, right?) we suggest you get a kick start with one of these babies while you peruse the menu with its impressive variety of share plate and wood-fired pizza offerings.
We tucked into the tasty pork and prawn potstickers with an addictive soy and lime dressing, followed by the colourfully-plated house gnocchi with generous servings of haloumi. Squarely on our hit list for next visit are the scorched local bugs with sweet corn and chilli salsa or, get this, a peanut butter chicken wood-fired pizza topped with minted yoghurt. Um, yum!
Just like the eccentric theming, Steampunk’s cocktail list is far from ordinary with quirky creations including the Cog Slapper (vodka, sour apple, Midori, and a cotton candy garnish) or the Sticky Riddle (vanilla Galliano, apple juice, Fireball, caramel, and cinnamon). While craft beer has taken over many a tap across the Gold Coast, they’ve opted to stick with the trusty amber classics, with more bottled options in the fridges behind.
It’s clear to see, owners Grant Rodgers and Nigel Robert have invested a helluva lot of hours and coin into the super impressive fit out. Seating upwards of 250 people or a whopping 400 standing, the interior space is cavernous yet neatly divided into nooks and moody leather booths, if you want to get cosy and linger. Outside, the expansive deck is soaked in afternoon sun and overlooks buzzing Surfers Paradise Boulevard below. And northerners frequenting the light rail will be happy to hear the bar is in short
stumbling walking distance of the tram station.
More space makes Steampunk a logical fit for groups and events too, if you’ve been charged with finding a venue and have a hard-to-please crowd that has “been and done everything”.
Even if you don’t venture into the glitter strip on the reg, we reckon it’s worth making a special trip to test run one of the best new bars in Surfers Paradise, so you’ll know exactly where to take your out-of-town visitors next time they come knocking.
Steampunk officially launches this Friday, April 7 and will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11:30am ‘til late.
Where: Upstairs, 3113 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
Photo Credit: Brooke Darling for Metropolist