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Upstairs at Toombul Is Brisbane's New Neon-Lit, Fountain-Filled Food Precinct

You'll find a circus-themed arcade bar, a restaurant with cheese wheel pasta and a ramen joint here.
By Sarah Ward
November 15, 2019
By Sarah Ward
November 15, 2019

Brisbane's shopping centres have recently been shaking up their dining options. Goodbye boring ol' food courts that cram in as many fast food outlets as they can, hello indoor-outdoor food precincts that spread a variety of restaurants and eateries over a greenery-filled area. Chermside made the change a couple of years back, and now it's Toombul Shopping Centre's turn — and the fellow northside spot is doing so with neon, fountains and a circus-themed arcade bar.

Called Upstairs at Toombul and opening just yesterday, the new area appears to be taking more than a few cues from key tenant Archie Bros Cirque Electriq (aka the latest novelty bar from the folks behind Holey Moley, Strike Bowling and B. Lucky & Sons). Indeed, the Sandgate Road shopping centre is calling its latest addition a 'foodie playground', and highlighting elements that seem to be specifically geared for eye-catching photo opportunities. Here, you can soar through the air on swings that change colour, watch the fountain turn into a multi-hued pool of lit-up mist when the sun goes down, check out installations and murals, and knock back drinks under a wall of neon. Beneath the hanging plants and disco balls, there's also a see-saw, a slide and a popcorn ball pit — and it's all designed for kidults, not kids.

It is still primarily a food and drink precinct, though, so, as well as Archie Bros, Upstairs is also home to a heap of eateries. Dapple + Waver serves up modern Australian cuisine; Little Red Dumpling, Niku Ramen and Sushi HYO all specialise in exactly what their names suggest; Espresso Max is all about coffee; and Hello Harry slings burgers. Take specific note of Il Gancio if you like cheese wheel pasta — it's the latest venture from the folks behind Bowen Hills' Il Verde, and it's serving up the famous dish every Wednesday night.

To mark Upstairs' launch, Brisbanites can head by on selected dates from Thursday, November 14 to enjoy a heap of specials and freebies — including free fairy floss, free frosé, free coffee and free boozy ice blocks, as well as $1 oysters and new cheese dumplings.

Upstairs will also host an ongoing series of events, activations and entertainment, featuring live music, trivia and bingo nights, and chances to cuddle cute canines.

And, in case you've forgotten, Toombul also boasts its own BCC cinema — and that's having a makeover too. Reopening its revamped doors just in time for the mid-December release of Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker, the eight-screen complex will sport two new BCC Recline screens (yep, they feature reclining chairs), as well as a renovated foyer, lounge area, candy bar, coffee station and licensed bar.

Upstairs at Toombul is now open at Toombul Shopping Centre, 1015 Sandgate Road, Toombul.

Published on November 15, 2019 by Sarah Ward
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