While we've got our fair share of iconic restaurants and venues on the Gold Coast, there are those who prefer more secluded and lesser known locations to enjoy a drink.
Step off the main street, venture down an alleyway and text a number to gain entry to Gold Coast's hidden bar scene. Scratch the surface and you’ll discover some excellent establishments where you can sample specialty cocktails in secret at Burleigh, Broadbeach, Palm Beach and Coolangatta. (Photo above: Jess Kearney)
Secret sophistication is the name of the game at Lockwood Bar in Burleigh Heads. A speakeasy style of establishment, the entrance is cleverly concealed from view. Found on Justin Lane, you need to text a number on arrival to be allowed in and once you are, you’ll pass through a thick velvet curtain and into the cosy space beyond. Behind the bar you’ll find an incredible selection of whisky, plus an absolutely stacked cocktail menu. Settle in for the night and ask the bartender for a recommendation. They really know their stuff. Open from Monday to Thursday from 7pm and Friday, Saturday from 5pm.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
The Star Gold Coast has a sweet little secret - Veladora. This candle-lit Mexican-inspired speakeasy will take a little bit of finding. Keep your eyes peeled for a for a red palm tree once you’ve passed through the glass doors past Harvest. Once inside you’ll find a cocktail menu dreams are made of. Order a Midnight in Cancun (Don Julio, Woodford, almond and homemade Yucutan cordial) to sip on and pair it with unusual bar snacks like a Peanut and Cricket Trail Mix (yes, the insect). Open from 7pm Friday and Saturday.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach
Image: Mitch Lowe Photo
As intriguing as it sounds, the Janitors Closet can be found hidden within The Pink Hotel in Coolangatta. Open to hotel guests only, entering this secret space is a little bit like entering Narnia. You push through the back of a broom closet with a false wall and emerge in a dimly lit, underground piano bar that’s as cool as they come. Make yourself comfortable in plush NYC-style aesthetic and sip to the soundtrack of the very impressive piano player. Shout yourself a Whiskey Sour and revel in the exclusive, quirky experience. Open Friday and Saturday from 7pm to guests of The Pink Hotel.
Where: 171 Griffith St, Coolangatta
As the name suggests, Hidden Cherub is tucked away somewhere you’d never expect to find it. Unless you know where to look of course. Nestled within a semi-industrial area in Burleigh Heads down an unassuming alley, Hidden Cherub is a warehouse-style bar serving up creative cocktails, fun tunes and a plant-based California-style menu. Sip on The Grape Escape complete with tequila, black grapes, sage orange blossom and orange bitters. Open Thursday from 4pm and Friday Saturday from 5pm.
Where: 2/29 Lemana Ln, Burleigh Heads
Step back in time to the roaring 1920’s, a champagne in hand and dressed to the nines at Roosevelt Lounge in the heart of Broadbeach. With gilded edges and Chesterfield leather, you won’t find a finer secret establishment than this. Found between The Loose Moose and Sofitel Broadbeach, Roosevelt Lounge is perfect for a fancy nightcap, and you can’t go past a good, old-fashioned Martini here; made to your liking. Nibble on share plates and delight in the hidden magic of this impressive space. Open from 5pm Friday and Saturday.
Where: 75 Surf Pde, Broadbeach
Burleigh’s rock n’ roll dive bar is a guaranteed good time. With live music, a moody, low-lit vibe and plenty of enthusiastic revellers at any given time, you’ll want to pay Nightjar a visit. Found down the actual Justin Lane (which is right next to a venue of the same name) tucked behind the Gold Coast Highway, Nightjar offers a mouth-watering selection of cold beers, spirits and of course, cocktails and you’ll absolutely need to don your dancing shoes. Open from 6pm Tuesday to Thursday and 7pm Friday to Sunday, look for the roller doors and Nightjar neon.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Hidden in plain sight, Suga is a Palm Beach favourite right on the Gold Coast Highway. It’s a plantation-style rum bar, with an intimate, speakeasy vibe and a carefully curated cocktail list that’ll knock your socks off. The Alligator Wine is made up of Triple Sec, Licor 43 and Orange Zest and it’s the perfect Autumn tipple to treat yourself with. There’s live entertainment every night and once you’ve stepped inside it’ll be like nothing else exists in the world. Heaven. Open Thursday to Sunday from 6pm until late (very late Friday to Sunday).
Where: 1142 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Keen to discover more of Gold Coast's unique bar scene? We've got some of the best rooftop bars with sea breezes and stunning views. Find out more.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region.
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.