There’s been a rooftop revolution on the blue-sky #blessed Gold Coast. From spritz in the sunshine to starlight spirits among the skyscrapers, Gold Coast local Chantay Logan has your guide to raising the bar.
Ok so straight up, we have two openings happening this November 23 on the GC strip. For numero uno, say hello to Santeria, the new rooftop bar at retro-refreshed, The Pink Hotel Coolangatta. Boasting ocean views atop the coolest revamp on the Coast right now, this 1950s hotel is styled up with new, funky art and joined by Eddie’s Grub House for a mouthwatering feed.
JUSTIN LANE ROOFTOP
If we weren’t already spoiled enough, Justin Lane Est. is also unveiling their rooftop bar extension promising twice the views, twice the cocktails and twice the fun. With year-round good vibes under a blue-sky ceiling, it’s the place to be in Burleigh. Grab a chilled Stone & Wood to enjoy in one of the cushioned window nooks where the breeze sweeps in off the ocean. If you score one of the sought-after seats the good news is you won’t have to budge, with the full food menu now available on the rooftop. That means a slice of the cult pizza action (the thin sourdough base is at its best topped with prawn, calamari, garlic confit, mozzarella, chilli, parsley and a lick of lemon).
You’re guaranteed box seats for the sunset at the Santorini-styled Bar Hellenika. Perch on a white bar stool under sunshine-yellow-striped umbrellas and put one of the Gold Coast’s finest wine lists through its paces. Order up from a mezze menu featuring grilled saganaki with a squeeze of lemon, the signature rough-cut Greek salad starring the most genetically blessed of heirloom tomatoes, SA octopus, zucchini chips and lamb ribs.
NINETEEN AT THE STAR
You don’t need a restaurant reservation to enjoy the view everyone’s raving about. The Gold Coast’s most lofty rooftop bar, Nineteen at The Star surveys our sparkling skyline across its blue-lit infinity pool. Sip champagne or a signature cocktail on the terrace. “You can see the city all the way up north and down south, but I really want people to walk around to the side and look around to the hinterland too — it’s just beautiful,” says co-owner Simon Gloftis. While you can book a booth with classic bottle service, walk-ins are welcome to enjoy a drink at the bar on a first come, first served policy.
THE COLLECTIVE PALM BEACH
Overlooking the light-strung alfresco dining room and out to the hinterland, expect plenty of perks at this Palm Beach perch. There’s a bunch of legends behind the bar at The Collective and they don’t mind a bit of banter while you narrow down the mind-boggling array of cocktails. Go for the Frat Boy to sample the local Balter XPA, white rum and Pisco blended with Mt. Tamborine Distillery’s herbal Eau De Vie. Munch on pork belly nuggets, sashimi-grade salmon poke piled on crispy wontons or beer-battered snapper tacos.
THE ISLAND ROOFTOP
If you’re after alfresco atmosphere, head into the heart of Surfers. In an open-air playground of palms, bench seats, beach umbrellas and fairy lights, The Island Rooftop hosts bands, DJs and special events. Pull up an acapulco chair and savour a sea platter piled with salt and pepper squid, prawns and salmon sashimi.
MR PP’S DELI & ROOFTOP
Mr P.P.’s single-handedly raised our CBD’s cool factor when it opened late last year. History, character and revitalisation mixed in with the modern, visitors cross original hardware floors — a nod to the building’s former life as the Maternal and Child Welfare centre built in 1967 — to reach the open-air terrace. Protected by a retractable roof, it’s designed for post-work wind-downs and casual weekend drinks.
AVIARY ROOFTOP BAR
Under 15 minutes inland from Southport, and only seven minutes from outlet shopping heaven at Harbour Town Shopping Centre is Aviary Rooftop Bar perched six floors above Mantra at Sharks Hotel. Pull up a stool overlooking the Surfers Paradise skyline, order yourself a perfectly toasted pizza or charcuterie platter and perhaps an activated charcoal cocktail (because, balance) and celebrate good times.
GOTHAM GRILL & ROOFTOP BAR
The three-tiered Manhattan-style building changed the culinary game on the northern GC. Start at the top with a well-earned sundowner — an iPad menu loaded with photos makes it easier to choose a cocktail from the likes of Fruit Bat libations and themed tonics. The rooftop has its own menu, with owner Daniel Ridgeway recommending the mozzarella-loaded Gotham City pizza, lobster rolls and the southern fried chicken burger with spicy mayo. You won’t need a reservation for a spontaneous drink, but the venue does accept rooftop bookings for groups of eight people or more.