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Summa House Is the New Boozy Garden Hangout That's Taken Over X Cargo's Old Fortitude Valley Digs

MacLachlan Street's pile of containers is now home to a new venue — and it's doing two-hour tapas-and-cocktails sessions every weekend.
By Sarah Ward
June 23, 2022
By Sarah Ward
June 23, 2022

When one venue closes, another one usually opens. That's a unshakeable 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, newcomer Summa House has just 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.

If it's drinks you're after, the beverage menu spans reds, whites, sparkling, rosé, a range of beer on tap — including Balter, Byron Bay, James Squire and XXXX, and also Brookvale ginger beer — and summery-themed share jugs. There's an eight-option roster of cocktails for one, too, with names such as 'Tidal Wave' and 'Summasalt'. Bound to be a hit: Summa House's choc espresso martini.

That pub grub-esque food lineup includes chicken parmigiana, beer-battered barramundi, steaks and lamb cutlets with sides like truffle mash and chat potatoes, as well as four types of burgers. For something light, there's spring rolls, tempura cauliflower, barbecue corn ribs and buffalo wings, too. And, on weekdays, you can grab a $15 lunch special, which features a choice between tacos, schnitzels, rumps and cheeseburgers (with a beer or wine costing $5 extra).

X Cargo was known for its boozy weekend brunches, so Summa House is also doing its own version from 12–3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. This time, you'll get a tapas spread for two hours, and either cocktail jugs, beer and wine (for $55 per person), or menu cocktails, brews, vino and spirits  (for $99).

Entertainment-wise, Summa House plans to host music events year-round, leaning into Brissie's endless summer vibes (well, other than the recent cold spell). That'll include DJs spinning tunes, with Peking Duk's Reuben Styles hitting the venue on Saturday, July 16 with his side project Y.O.G.A. (You're Only Great Always)

Find Summa House at 43 MacLachlan Street, Fortitude Valley — open 12pm–12am Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and 12pm–1am Friday–Saturday.

Published on June 23, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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