If there’s one thing we love here on the Gold Coast, it’s a new watering hole. But we give extra points if said new bar is thinking outside the box, and you can’t get quirkier than Rosella’s.
Taking up residence in a former hair salon (HACQ has relocated to Currumbin), the space was completely gutted, and in its place stands an intimate federation-style bar, filled with character.
Paying homage to all things Australiana, the décor is more tongue-in-cheek than kitsch so don’t expect posters of Crocodile Dundee, but rather thoughtful art deco prints of Aussie animals, clusters of native flora, moss green leather booths and a long warm timber bar that’s just begging you to pull up a stool, order a cold one and have a long yarn with the Rosella’s crew. Even the bathroom hasn’t escaped the true blue touch with gumnut printed tiles and vintage cricket mags kitting out the space.
Owner’s and best mates since they were 12 years old, Jon Debeere and Jack Connor, have poured their heart and soul into the bar—their first joint venture together—and the results are pretty damn great.
The menu was inspired by Debeere’s grandmother, Lucy Jean and her cookbooks. So, if you’re wanting a massive nostalgia hit with a modern twist, you’ll get it right here. Think Vegemite, cheddar and wattle seed butter jaffle—one bite and you’ll go right back to your childhood, albeit in much cooler settings.
There’s also roo carpaccio, bug sambos and a classic prawn cocktail. And you can’t go past the fresh oysters with native finger lime and shaved macadamias served in a styrofoam esky, they’re creamy, zingy and delicious. For sweet tooths, try the Kakadu plum and apple pie jaffle, or the mango, mint and lemon myrtle granita with Murray River sea salt.
When it comes to drinks, Connor has you covered with his concoction of epic cocktails. There’s the Pèt-Nat Slush Puppy (lemon myrtle granita and Pèt-Nat wine), the Ironman (Beenleigh white rum, Bundaberg small batch rum, lime, banana and Nutri-Grain orgeat) and the Rosella made with vodka, rosella jam, Australian bitter, lemon and lily pily. Even better, it’s served in the most adorable Rosella-shaped glass.
While the tap beer is constantly changing, there’s currently XXXX Gold (of course), Fixation IPA and Black Hops Pale Ale on offer. And they’re keeping it classic with a line-up of excellent tinnies, like Fosters, XXXX Bitter, VB and Melbourne Bitter. There are also local brews like Balter, Burleigh Brewing and Stone & Wood. And to ensure no one goes thirsty, Debeere’s curated an impressive array of natural all-Aussie wines to work your way through. And he tells us he’s constantly adding more.
Perfect for a tipple solo or with mates, we can’t get enough of this fair dinkum bar.
Rosella’s is open seven nights a week.
Image Credit: Kaitlin Maree Photography for Urban List