Brisbane’s quirkiest themed bars | Gourmand and Gourmet

Brisbane’s quirkiest themed bars

  • Food & Booze
Do you know there’s a Christmas themed bar in New York? And a watering hole in Melbourne where you sip out of syringes on surgical stools in the midst of an insane asylum? The quirkiest part of our usual Saturday night drinks might usually just involve cheeseburger spring rolls and and sitting on a milk crate, but sometimes we want a little something different – and don’t mind if it’s totally kitsch. If the ‘hipster/industrial/nana’s house’ isn’t doing it for you this weekend, check out a few Brisbane’s more quirkily themed bars. Jungle | West End Set your watch to Island Time and escape from the work week. Jungle Bar is a tiki-themed watering hole where the Pacific comes alive and it seems perfectly reasonable to find a coconut and name him Wilson. Or maybe that’s just us. Bamboo and tiki décor aside, the bar serves up a classic medley of rum-crazy drinks. For pina coladas, mai tais, and drunken Pirates of the Caribbean quotes, this is the place to check out. Ginger’s Diner | Petrie Terrace Though Ginger’s may technically be the younger brother (and neighbour) of Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, it’s not exactly young at heart. This Korean diner and bar is based on the hit series MASH – and if you’ve ever watched afternoon TV, the theme song will be in your head for hours (sorry!). With a throwback to the ‘50s in the form of food, tinnies and old-school tunes, don’t blame us if you get the urge to binge-watch some reruns. The Tree House | Fortitude Valley Take the second star to the right and head straight on until morning and you… probably won’t find Neverland. But if you head straight down Ann Street, you will find The Tree House, a Peter Pan themed bar in Bakery Lane complete with a leafy canopy overhead – only with organic cocktails and tapas instead of acorns and fairies. Chalet Bar | Spring Hill So Brisbane doesn’t exactly need a ski lodge, but sometimes it’s nice to pretend we do, okay? For anyone who can’t make it to Perisher this year, you can still pretend you did with The Alliance Hotel’s Chalet Bar. This candle-lit brick bar is decorated with ski paraphernalia (fireplace included, of course), and serves up winter warmers such as cider and schnapps. Just don’t expect to do much tobogganing afterwards. The Retro Bar | Kenmore If you’ve had enough of Kanye for a while (and we don’t really blame you), The Retro Bar in Kenmore may be a welcome reprieve. The western suburb spot is all about keeping the rockin’ sixties alive. Settle into an electric blue armchair and check out the classic bar menu (Tom Collins and martinis present, of course). We can practically hear the electric guitar riffs already. The Walrus Club | Toowong Prohibition! Fun to say, probably less fun to see. Luckily, we’re so far away from prohibition times that we’ve created bars that pretend alcohol is still banned. Kooky, right? The Walrus Club is a 1920s speakeasy-themed bar, which was basically a place for people to chug their illicit booze. You’ll find staff in proper 1920s getup (which means bow ties, bowler hats, and mustaches!), and the drinks on offer consist of a range of rare and unique spirits. Lefty’s | Brisbane Saloon-themed Lefty’s has been a Brissie favourite since those apple juice whiskeys first touched our lips. The vintage red and timber décor is dimly lit, adding a cheeky burlesque vibe to the venue. You’ll find yourself grooving to plenty of live country and swing music, which – it turns out – pairs nicely with whiskey and cheeseburgers. Warning: any post-whiskey hangovers can’t be blamed on us. Heya Bar | Fortitude Valley Inspired by the hidden alleyways and cosy bars of Tokyo’s Golden Gai, Heya promises to make your night as bewildering and exciting as possible. Comprising of five unique bars, hidden doorways, secret areas, pan-Asian food and plenty of booze, Heya will have you feeling like a drunk Asian tourist in no time (in a fun, no-embassies-involved kind of way). Grab some popcorn karaage chicken and a Heya Singapore Sling, and you’re set for your night of oriental sights, sounds, and tastes. Now, can someone please get onto opening a Harry Potter bar? Words by Samantha Chariton