With the food and drink scene hotter than ever, boutique bars are popping up all over the Coast. Each with their own style, some are tucked away in alleyways behind a group of shops, others closeted behind closed doors. You need to be in the know to find them. Let’s look at some of the boutique bars that are providing the Gold Coast with treasured watering holes.
THE CAMBUS WALLACE
Inspired by the history of a ship that foundered off the Gold Coast in 1894, The Cambus Wallace carries a nautical theme, including a mural of a frigate battling stormy waves. In this dark and moody bar, it’s fitting to settle down to a Sailor’s Rum, served in its own branded tin cup.
Behind the red Tardis-like doors on Main Place lurks the Gold Coast’s first BYO food bar SoHo Place. Set in London’s East End, every space is filled with graffiti art referencing postcard London scenes, Banksy’s art and Doctor Who. There’s pop culture in the drinks as well, the Caramel popcorn cocktail a force to be reckoned with.
THE GLENELG PUBLIC HOUSE
The Gold Coast’s take on a classy traditional English pub, The Glenelg is famous for its excellent steaks, fine wines and classic cocktails. Masculine yet inviting, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy fine wine and food in atmospheric comfortable surroundings.
ALOHA BAR & DINING
Hidden away in the laneway behind Main Place, Broadbeach, Aloha is a popup bar intent on staying a while. Pacific Island themed, you’ll sit among palm trees, pineapples, nautical and tiki paraphernalia, each room individually themed to add interest. Food may be served in a pineapple and drinks in a coconut shell.
BALTHAZAR WINE & DINING
Balthazar offers a superlative wine and dining experience, pairing tapas or degustation menus with fine wine for up to eighteen guests. Sit at a marble-topped table surrounded by fine wine, a wine glass chandelier overhead and a balthazar (12 litre bottle) of Bollinger on display to one side.
‘Find the red door and text for a code’ are the instructions to find this speakeasy bar in Burleigh’s Justin Lane. With moody lighting and décor warmed by a cedar bar and bespoke tables, Lockwood’s owners aim to complement the area’s dining with an exclusive prohibition-style drinks experience.
BonBon, the alter ego of the popular Bonita Bonita, is a Mexican-themed bar, promising brooding evenings watched over by Frida Kahlo. Specialising in tequila and mescal-based cocktails, the signature drink is the Bonita Margarita, the edge of chilli salt and candied jalapeno softened by fresh cucumber.
Warm tones of brick, wood and leather speak a warm welcome to locals, inviting them into Tasca’s intimate sophisticated ‘pocket’ of space. Sit at the bar or in one of the cosy booths to pick from the world wine list, including organic and biodynamic wines from boutique producers paired with Italian share plate dining.
Behind swaying bunches of bananas, a tiny poke bar is lurking. ‘Okey Dokey, time for Poke’ cries the neon sign as we settle into the retro bench seating overlooked by a flock of red flamingos. Tuck into cold-pressed juices and island-themed cocktails to accompany your poke bowl. It would be so easy to get marooned on Poke Poke’s shores.
NXT Door brings us fresh organic produce, cold-pressed juice cocktails, organic spirits and preservative-free wine. In a sexy small bar adjoining its alter-ego café, Grocer & Grind, it’s the perfect date night venue for the health-conscious diner, with dim lighting and mood music setting the scene.