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Ten Standout New Brisbane Bars That Started Pouring Drinks in 2022

The city's very best boozy additions of the year include rooftop spots, Euro-style bars and a wine joint from the Lune team.
By Sarah Ward
December 21, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
December 21, 2022
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TEN STANDOUT NEW BRISBANE BARS THAT STARTED POURING DRINKS IN 2022

The city's very best boozy additions of the year include rooftop spots, Euro-style bars and a wine joint from the Lune team.

While it feels like it was only yesterday that we were last eating boozy Christmas pud with nan, it's somehow already December (again) — which means, yes, we're almost at the end of 2022. And, over the past 12 months, Brisbane's bar scene has continued to grow at an impressive rate.

Not only have new drinking holes popped up across the city — opening everywhere from old aircraft hangars to heritage-listed buildings — but plenty of these libation stations are multi-faceted, doubling as breweries, distilleries. So, here are our favourite ten bars to throw open their doors in 2022. Add them to your list. Tick them off. Just as Santa's doing now.

  • 10

    Joining South City Square alongside Sasso Italiano, Casa Chow and Purple Palm (see below), Vincent Lombino and Jared Thibault’s South City is Woolloongabba’s new European-influenced wine bar and wine shop. As well as a vino focus, it boasts eye-catching decor that’s designed to transport you to the other side of the world, such as marble tabletops, dark timber panelling, brass finishings and oil paintings, plus a heavy use of emerald-green hues. Yes, its shopfront does indeed look like something you’d see in Europe.

    The venue also includes plenty of outdoor seating, giving it a laneway feel, as well as a long communal indoor table backdropped by a wall of wine. Those vinos have been co-curated by Thibault, and take a global approach. Accordingly, expect to sip Australian, New Zealand, French, Italian, German, Austrian, Spanish, Greek, Lebanese, American, South African and Argentinian drops from the opening wine list — 15 types of French champagne among them. South City Wine also goes big on French-inspired cocktails, with seven varieties on offer, and serves up European bistro bites.

    Image: Max Homer.

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  • 9

    Rare is the venue that can cater to all moods, whether you feel like getting cosy in dark surroundings over a lavish meal with your nearest and dearest — or you’d prefer to greet the sun, or the stars once evening hits, while enjoying drinks with the sky as your ceiling. Now open on St Paul’s Terrace, Soko Rooftop covers both options, all 14 floors above Fortitude Valley. This Brisbane newcomer also combines two other things: Peruvian and Japanese cuisine.

    Here, you’l find a menu that takes dishes, ingredients and techniques from each. Also on offer: a drinks lineup spanning 40-plus flavours of pisco sours, including a heavy focus sake and yuzu. Edamame, grilled Japanese shishito peppers, and hot and cold sashimi tuna sit on the small-plate selection alongside Latin street corn, tuna with jalapeno on crispy rice and kingfish with salsa, just to get the menu started. There’s also a dedicated ceviche and cured fish section — complete with sea bass, yellowfin tuna, sea bream, salmon, red snapper and marinated prawn options — and two types of bao.

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  • 8

    The team behind iconic Fortitude Valley music venue The Zoo have opened a new laneway cocktail spot — and it also acts a a tribute. Stranded, their fresh addition to Winn Lane, takes its name from The Saints’ relentlessly catchy punk hit that’ll always be a part of Brisbane’s history. Obviously, like a snake calling on a phone, you’ve got no time to be alone here.

    Stranded aims to be a haven for music lovers by also decking out the place in rock and punk memorabilia, and generally using 70s and 80s alternative culture as its guiding force. As well as moody lighting, exposed rafters, the requisite centrepiece bar sat in front of a booze-lined wall and DJs spinning vinyl, this place is mighty fond of creative tipples — mezcal features prominently, alongside tequila — but also pairs its boozy concoctions with bites to eat as well. So, it’s the kind of spot where you can flick through a 24-page drinks list while tucking into oysters, pumpkin arancini, 30-hour slow-cooked mezcal-rubbed beef cheek and grilled octopus. Oh, and then treat yo’self to piña colada panna cotta for dessert, too.

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  • 7

    Pairing croissants with wine mightn’t be anyone’s usual food-and-booze combo, but it’s now exactly what The Lune Co serves up. The company behind New York Times-approved bakery Lune Croissanterie isn’t dishing them both up together, however. Rather, Lune has launched its first vino-pouring bar in Brisbane. So, South Brisbane’s Manning Street is now home to Butler Wine Bar, with the Lune crew expanding its local remit. The company only set up its first Lune Croissanterie in August 2021 — the first beyond its Melbourne base — and it’s clearly loving its in the Sunshine State.

    At Butler, Lune’s Kate Reid, Nathan Toleman and Cameron Reid are applying the same approach that’s made their flagship chain such a hit, just in a new realm. A long, cosy space that seats 30, Butler features dark hues, banquet tables and a long communal bar, plus al fresco seating to make the most of Brisbane’s climate. On the menu, the focus is on premium drops and sustainable producers. Vino is the big highlight, of course — although beers, spirits and cocktails also feature, including miso caramel old fashioneds and pumpkin highballs. And, food options include oysters with a kombu mignonette, prawn tartare, mushroom tarts, chicken liver parfait, and jamon iberico with ricotta and persimmon.

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  • 6

    Stratton Bar & Kitchen is the latest venture from Mrs Brown’s Bar & Kitchen owners Ben and Tarryn Brown; however, its ties to another Newstead go-to isn’t the only thing worth noticing. Conversation topic number one: that Stratton calls two old World War II hangars home, which the Browns have converted into quite the impressive hangout. Thanks to not only the site’s curved roof, but all of its exposed beams hovering above while patrons eat and drink, that history is inescapable. More than that, it’s downright striking to look at.

    The 920-square-metre venue boasts four sections: a 150-seat dining area, which still retains the laidback vibe that’s such a feature at Mrs Brown’s; a central bar perched under that eye-catching curved ceiling; a 150-person function space; and a covered courtyard. That gives Brisbanites plenty of reasons to drop by — and then there’s the fact that it’s right next door to The Triffid. Whether you’re heading in pre- or post-gig, or just because, Stratton serves up a menu that goes heavy on home-style share plates and one-handed bar snacks, with a the drinks list that hits around 70 bottles in 250-millilitre pours, plus a hefty cocktail range.

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  • 5

    After opening its first-ever Down Under venue in Brisbane back in 2019, which also doubles as its Australian base, Scottish craft beer behemoth BrewDog has now gone one better. The booze-loving company has also launched its second Aussie spot in the Sunshine State capital: a three-level beer bar in Fortitude Valley, in the heritage-listed Tranberg House building across the road from the Valley Metro complex. It nestles into all three of the structure’s floors, all with their own bars pouring brews from 20 taps each.

    On the entry level — from Brunswick Street — beer lovers will find a space that caters to 115–120 people, while the big drawcard is the beer hall-style lower-ground floor that fits around 120 folks as well. Then, up on the top storey, patrons will find two six-metre-long shuffleboard tables, as well as a space that can be used for functions. Brews and food-wise, BrewDog is keeping doing what its doing — pouring its own beers, celebrating other local brewers, and sticking with a pub grub-heavy menu that spans pizzas, burgers, vegan eats and the like. That includes serving up a 50-percent plant-based culinary lineup, complete with two-four-one vegan meals on Mondays.

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  • 4

    Sipping drinks at soaring heights: if that’s your preferred way to while away your days in Brisbane, there’s no shortage of spots to head to. That said, one sky-high venue doesn’t just want you to eat and drink while soaking in the view. That’s all part of Lina Rooftop, of course — but, in a 1500-square-metre bar that’s taken its cues from the Mediterranean, this beach club-inspired spot wants you to get swimming as well.

    Head up to the top level at 74–80 Tribune Street, South Brisbane and you’ll be enjoying a splash in two ways: in your glass and in the 30-metre rooftop infinity pool. Hang out in daybeds, sunken lounges and booths by the water, stare out over the Brissie skyline, and enjoy an atmosphere that’s designed to make you feel like you’re on holidays without leaving town. Blue, white and neutral tones help set the vacation mood, both indoors and out. The prevailing vibe: lounge all day, party through the night, with the venue open from brunch till late Wednesday–Sunday.

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  • 3

    As Purple Palm‘s name makes plain, this 60-seat newcomer to Logan Road takes its cues from Palm Springs, complete with an openair oasis setup — and, yes, palm trees providing some greenery. The look and mood at this gin-pouring garden bar is relaxed but glam, and also glowing thanks to lights in the bar’s eponymous colour illuminating its palms at night. That said, seating spans both indoor and outdoor spaces, with skylights letting in some brightness inside. Patrons can kick back on cushion-covered couches and get comfy beside a gazebo of plants, and ideally feel like they’re on the other side of the planet.

    Perfecting the vibe is clearly a big part of this new watering hole — and, naturally, so is the drinks menu. Expect to see plenty of its beverage choices while you’re deciding what to sip, all thanks to Purple Palm’s eye-catching ten-foot wall of gin by South Australia’s 78 Degrees Distillery. Whether you choose a cocktail on tap, one made fresh to order or the bar’s shared option for four-to-six people, we hope you like downing Australian spirits and pairing them with homegrown produce, because that’s exclusively on Purple Palm’s lineup.

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  • 2

    A spirits brand that shares its moniker with one of the most influential movies ever made, about vampires or otherwise, was always going to stand out — and that spirits brand is Nosferatu Distillery. The fact that its eponymous gin is a tasty blood orange number was always going to earn attention, too, as well as the Count Orlok-shaped silhouette on the bottle’s label along with it. Here’s another reason for Brisbanites to throw the company some love: its headquarters in Bowen Hills, which operates as a distillery, bar and cafe.

    Get a caffeine fix by day, then sip gin by night: that’s on the menu at the boutique brand’s new Brisbane base. The drinks lineup includes all of the usual coffee options, teas, StrangeLove sodas (keeping the movie theme) and non-alcoholic beers for those keen on a non-boozy beverage. Or, there’s wine, beer and the company’s range of spirits — Nosferatu Blood Orange Gin, Mandrake Cucumber and Mint Gin, Giselle Pavlova Gin and Bunyip Sticky Gin — including in cocktails and flights.

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  • 1

    When one venue closes, another one usually opens. That’s a fact in the hospitality realm — in general, and also right here in Brisbane. Take the pile of containers set up on MacLachlan Street in Fortitude Valley, for instance. The site’s original inhabitant, bar X Cargo, has now shut down; however, Summa House has taken over its boozy setup. Here, you’ll still find those metal boxes stacked high, grass sprawling out between them, and big beer garden vibes — all under the Brissie sun and, by night, beneath the stars as well. You’ll also find fairy lights, couches, picnic tables, striped umbrellas and a giant flamingo mural.

    Oh, and cocktails to sip, pub-style food to tuck into and parties to dance through, too, with the latter taking over once evening hits. In total, there’s also 14 event spaces — and the venue can host 1200 people. When you’re not getting comfy on the ground level amid the gardens, you can literally take your hangout session up a level, and also peer at the city thanks to the venue’s 360-degree vistas.

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