The Lodge Bar & Dining
New Zealand clothing label Rodd & Gunn has opened a luxe new bar and restaurant on James Street.
June 15, 2022
Finding somewhere to eat and/or drink along James Street is as easy as looking in any direction you like, but only one spot brings a fashion brand's aesthetic out of its clothing range and into a bar and restaurant. That venue: The Lodge Bar & Dining, the Brisbane bricks-and-mortar outpost of New Zealand's Rodd & Gunn, which has thrown open its doors in a heritage Queenslander on the popular Fortitude Valley roadway.
Expanding from helping stock wardrobes to tempting tastebuds isn't new for Rodd & Gunn, which originally opened its first Lodge Bar & Dining in Queenstown in 2016, then expanded to Auckland in 2020, and also made the leap to Melbourne in 2021. Brisbane's addition to the list sports the brand's rustic-meets-sophisticated vibe in venue form — plus an impressive food and drink menu.
Book in for a meal here, and you'll be tucking into a menu conjured up by The Lodge Bar Group's Executive Chef Matt Lambert, which goes heavy on seasonal produce and local ingredients. Seafood features prominently, including in entrees such as sea trout tartare; via oysters from Batemans Bay, Tasmania and Moreton Bay; and from a spread that also spans eucalyptus grilled tiger prawns, open fire grilled rock lobster and mud crab royale. Blue crab spaghetti, buttered bug rolls and grilled rock lobster are big highlights, too. And, if you feel like forking out $250 for a 100-gram serving of caviar, you'll get whatever's the best at the time.
Also standouts: pork terrine, muscovy duck breast, coal-roasted sun choke gnocchi and the wagyu of the moment.
The Lodge Bar Group's Master Sommelier and Group Beverage Manager Cameron Douglas has come up with a wide-ranging drinks list to match — think oh-so-many wines from Italy, France, Spain, Argentina and Australia, with 36 percent of the vino offering hailing from New Zealand; and a range of creative libations that includes a rose gold negroni. There's even a dedicated cocktail room, should they be your tipples of choice.
The 749-square-metre, 150-seat space also features oak wood flooring, wool rugs, and plenty of leather and brass decor, channelling an alpine mood. But the two-storey spot also makes the most of its classic Queenslander-style wraparound balcony, giving patrons a taste of NZ and the Sunshine State at once. Peering out over both James and Robertson streets come with the territory as well, naturally.
While dropping in for a bite to eat and a beverage or several is the main attraction, the ground floor has been designed to let you mosey easily from its corner bar with banquette seating through to the retail space; as a Rodd & Gunn venue, being able to shop the brand's clothing was always going to be on the cards.
Upstairs, there's another bar, a private dining area and that aforementioned balcony.