Jonny Garrison and Steve Pelecas are opening new venues in Fish Lane in South Brisbane. Picture: Mark Cranitch.
Jonny Garrison and Steve Pelecas are opening new venues in Fish Lane in South Brisbane. Picture: Mark Cranitch.

Only one way to get access to new bar

SOUTH Brisbane's Fish Lane is reeling in a fresh catch, with four new dining ventures set to join the foodie strip.

Among the new arrivals will be cool speak-easy bar Next Episode, hidden at the back of a barber shop next to Big Roddy's Rippin' Rib Shack.

The brainchild of songwriter and musician Steve Pelecas, who also owns Brisbane barbers Men's Lounge and Barber Girl, the venue will have a 90s hip-hop theme, with punters only able to access it by calling a number from a retro phone on-site.

"There's a secret door and we're not letting anyone know what's inside so it's a bit of hush hush," Pelecas says.

However, he reveals the space will only be 50sq m, featuring a mix of booth and bar seating, and will have a cool, house-party vibe.

"We want to keep it quite small and build relationships," he says.

Craft beer from independent labels will be in play alongside a strong cocktail offering, with drinks named after famous rappers or rap lyrics, such as the Hendrick's Lamar. There'll also be regular drink specials as Pelecas wants to keep the venue affordable for the younger West End crowd. The venue aims to kick off on November 16, trading from Wednesday-Sunday from 6pm.

Meanwhile, a beat throw away, founder of Brisbane Vegan Markets and I Should Coco Ice Cream Jonny Garrison has teamed up with leading vegan chef Alejandro Cancino to launch vegan burger bar Grassfed.

Opening early December, the 16-seater will serve just six burgers, three side and three desserts using a custom range of Cancino's signature faux meat patties from his Fenn Foods label and pickles from Brisbane's Picklehead.

Expect the likes of pork, chicken and beef substitutes and a vegetable pattie, with burgers ranging from healthy to extravagant.

"We'll have a really over the top burger with a double pattie, cheese, stuffed with fries," says Garrison.

Desserts will be Garrison's biggest sellers from his I Should Coco market stall, while Young Henrys beers, softdrinks and a couple of milk shakes will also be on offer.

But for those who want real meat in their burgers, Brisbane couple James and Wendy D'Ath will open their third DA'Burger bar further along Fish Lane on November 11 - a 200-seater with outdoor dining, two function spaces and 12 beers on tap. Also opening the same day will be another outlet of Sarah Miller's acai bowl eateries, Kiss The Berry, with this venue set to offer a larger, more diverse menu than her other stores.



Jonny Garrison and Steve Pelecas will each be opening a new venue in Fish Lane in South Brisbane. Picture: Mark Cranitch.
Jonny Garrison and Steve Pelecas will each be opening a new venue in Fish Lane in South Brisbane. Picture: Mark Cranitch.




HOTEL dining has never been hotter in Brisbane, and the opening of The Westin Brisbane this Thursday is set to raise the bar yet again.

The venue will feature three eateries: signature restaurant Eden's Table, cafe-cum-jazz, cocktail and wine bar The Charles'; and Brisbane's first swim up bar The Nautilus.

The 150-seater Eden's Table will offer an interactive dining experience with live cooking stations and a menu of top-notch proteins including Noosa prawns, Humpty Doo Barramundi and Yardstick beef cooked on a Argentinian parilla grill. Sweets will also be a highlight with two dessert trolleys boasting everything from macarons to full cakes decorated at the table by service staff. Drinks will hero biodynamic and minimal intervention vino, as well as some of Queensland's best producers including La Petite Mort wines and spirits from Mt Uncle and Tamborine Mountain distilleries.

Drinks will also be a focus at the aviation-themed The Charles' when it transitions into a bar at night, with a champagne and sparkling trolley serving around 25 bubbles from Spanish cava to Greek sparkling and the finest of French. The restaurant will also have its own beers including a pale ale and summer ale.

Breakfast will be a more casual affair with grab-and-go or dine-in options, while lunch time eats target office workers with meats cooked in an American Yoder smoker served in a bowl or a roll.

That smoker will then move up to the impressive swim-up pool bar, The Nautilus, on Sundays, providing bites alongside the regular menu of classic snacks and share platters, plus cocktails, juices and smoothies. The tropical-themed bar will feature lush foliage, city views and cabanas, day beds and lounges to relax, and will open to the public each Sunday from December 2 for special Sunday sessions.



THERE'S a new horse in the stables at Brisbane riverside eatery Pony Dining, with ex-Spirit House chef Tom Swapp taking over as head chef.

Swapp's latest stint was at Newstead's E'cco Bistro as interim head chef, but has a strong resume working at Bangkok's one Michelin-starred Bo.Lan and Maze and Maze Grill by Gordon Ramsay.

He takes over from Michael Crosbie, who has returned to the Gold Coast to be closer to his young family and work as a consultant chef.

Swapp has already put his spin on the menu, introducing new dishes such as king prawns with macadamia; angus flank steak with muntries, and beetroot-cured king fish.

"My dream - well that's to take Pony Dining to its first chef's hat," says Swapp.


Chef Tom Swapp takes over at Pony Dining, Brisbane.
Chef Tom Swapp takes over at Pony Dining, Brisbane.


FANCY a free hot dog? The Rockpool Group will give away 500 free snags this Friday from 11am to celebrate the opening of their new German restaurant The Bavarian at Sunshine Plaza, Maroochydore.

The 400-seat Alpine-decorated venue with an al fresco water-side space for 300 will serve the brand's signature range of Bavarian treats such as pork knuckle, pork belly, sausages and schnitzels, with a $15 lunch special weekdays and regular dinner specials, including all you can eat meat platters.

There'll be 17 beers on tap, ranging from German favourites to local craft beer and in-house brews.



The Bavarian at Sunshine Plaza will give away 500 hot dogs when it opens on November 9.
The Bavarian at Sunshine Plaza will give away 500 hot dogs when it opens on November 9.


WANT to get up close and personal with Italy's acclaimed La Scala Ballet Company?

Kicking off their first ever Australian show tomorrow at Brisbane's QPAC, the dance company is raising money for The Courier-Mail Children's Fund at a special five-course dinner hosted by Sunday Mail columnist Frances Whiting.

Held at new Italian restaurant Persone in Brisbane's CBD, the dinner will include wagyu bresaola, osso bucco and panettone accompanied by matching Italian wines.

Book tickets on 3369 9500.