Brisbane is a snazzy town filled with snazzy bars. Rona Season is over (for now) and here we have the top 5 watering holes to wet your whistle at, post-lockdown. Grab some mates or grab a date, this one’s for you.
You’ve probably driven past this place if you ever head in through The Gabba, and it’s part of the larger Fiasco’s Steakhouse. But that’s not why we’re here. We’re here for the cheap jugs of XXXX they serve at the bar!
Out the front, my friends and I saw a police officer doing sets of pushups as his car blocked the road for construction – what more could you ask for? This one’s great for sport fans and families alike. Their dinner menu is superb and reasonably priced – just get anything except the cob loaf (it’s a 10$ bread bun with absolutely no cob sauce. Realistically this item should be renamed & repriced or removed.) Absolutely anything else on the menu will make your eyes and tongue flop out of your head like a cartoon character.
Location: 640 Stanley St, Woolloongabba QLD 4102
Archive Beer Boutique is a mainstay of the West End pub crawl. Not only because of the delicious range of beers and the resplendent food, but also because of the live music and its raucous smoker’s area. I cannot reiterate how happy you will be if you go on hot wings night. During happy hour, it’s 5$ drinks on a range of delicious beers and ciders and each night of the week offers various specials and deals. Go here if you like to play pool. Or air hockey.
Location: 100 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101
4. Jolly Roger
Sporting Fortitude Valley’s best-dressed patrons, this dimly-lit pirate bar is just off the main strip, and offers a fine selection of beverages to sip the night away. With an eclectic mix of high-fashion, ranging from goth to punk, this bar never fails to impress.
You would think it would mainly be young people, but there’s actually a healthy mix of all ages. Here they offer events, such as retro game nights, and also live music – especially good if you’re into your hardcore, metal, punk & rock gigs. Slap on your eyeliner, get hip and with it, and join the savvy locals for a jolly old froth fest in the heart of The Valley.
Location: 187 Wickham St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
3. The Cave Inn
Swept away under the rug, in the industrial sector of The Gabba, we find Brisbane’s best kept secret. The Cave offers delicious beers, the best pizza you could ever ask for, and free arcade games.
To top it all off, they also do live music almost every night, with sets & DJ’s appearing downstairs and full-blown gigs raging upstairs. Sometimes they even do cool communal jams and other groovy music-orientated events. Grab yourself a pint of the house English “Doom” Ale, and your taste buds will thank me later.
Location: 47 Balaclava St, Woolloongabba 4102
Tomcat has been serving up bevo’s and live music for decades now, and it’s no surprise that they’re still kicking. Tomcat’s often has live gigs with FREE entry, and there is also a “secret” bar attached to it too – The Boiler Room. I’ll leave you to discover it, but in the meantime enjoy the homeliest smoker’s area in Brisbane and some of the best drinks around.
The music is the big draw-card here, whether you’re rocking out up the front, or in one of the cozy sidebooths. There’s also free ping-pong available, and I’m going to tell you right now that a drunken Tomcat ping-pong tournament with your friends is always going to lead to a good night. To get to Tomcat, simply walk past Prohibition and into the dodgy door which looks like a strip club. It’s not a strip club.
Location: 1/210 Wickham St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
1. Rumpus Room
The old faithful. It may not be the flashiest on this list, but it’s certainly the cheapest. On Mondays drinks are 5$ all day long, and each other day they do the longest happy hours in town, from 4-7 pm. Tucked in behind the gecko sculpture in the heart of West End, there is one crucial factor making Rumpus punch its way to the top of this list:
Every single person here is a character and has a story to tell. It may not be what it was since The Ronnies swept in, with the seedy smoker’s area under the beautiful big tree out the front gone during peak hours (still available during the day though). However, this old classic still has its charms. Don’t sit inside, no one sits in there – jump out on the tables outside and enjoy the show. You will never leave Rumpus Room without a story to tell. This, I guarantee.
Location: 1/56 Russell St, West End QLD 4101