Bris­bane’s Mo­ment in the Sun The cap­i­tal of the Sun­shine State is go­ing from strength to strength.

With $45 bil­lion of in­fra­struc­ture be­ing in­vested in the Sun­shine State over the next four years, we look at the ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ments in store.

Virgin Australia Voyeur - - NOVEMBER - Words BRYCE COR­BETT

It’s just be­fore 8am on a Bris­bane morn­ing in spring and Adam Flaskas is walk­ing into work. From his home in the in­ner-city sub­urb of New It's just be­fore 8am on a Bris­bane morn­ing in spring and Adam Flaskas is walk­ing Farm, into he’s work. fol­low­ing the path that he tra­verses ev­ery From his home in the in­ner-city sub­urb of New Farm, he's fol­low­ing the path day he on takes his reg­u­lar ev­ery day com­mute. on his reg­u­lar Through com­mute. poin­cianaThrough poin­ciana-lined streets, past row af­ter gen­tri­fied row of quaintly-ren­o­vated work­ers' lined streets, cot­tages past and row down af­ter onto gen­tri­fied the River­walk row of - quaintly the el­e­vated board­walk that hugs the north­ern bank of the Bris­bane River. ren­o­vated work­ers’ cot­tages and down onto the city’s

As he walks along above the river - the brown wa­ters be­low mak­ing their lazy River­walk way to More­ton — the el­e­vated Bay, the sun board­walk glint­ing off that the hugs high-rises the of the Brissie CBD - Flaskas's lat­est project hoves into view. north­ern bank of the Bris­bane River.

Men in high-vis and hard hats scram­ble be­tween con­struc­tion cranes. Trucks As he walks criss-cross along the above sliver the of river land — be­tween the brown the wa­ters cliff face be­low and the river. A bou­tique, five-star ho­tel is tak­ing shape, nes­tled into the rock wall. mak­ing A large, their ware­house-like lazy way out space to More­ton is be­ing Bay, trans­formed the sun glint­ing into a brew­ery off and in­te­rior de­sign­ers busy them­selves dress­ing up the de­vel­op­ment's five the new high-rises restau­rant of the spa­ces, Brissie putting CBD the — fin­ish­ing Flaskas’s touches lat­est project to what will be the new jewel in Bris­bane's tourist and gas­tro­nomic crown. comes into view. Men in high-vis and hard hats scram­ble

"Will you get a load of that?" Flaskas breathes as he stops mid-com­mute be­tween to con­struc­tion take it all in - cranes. barely Trucks be­liev­ing criss-cross him­self the sight sliver that of rises be­fore him. land be­tween the cliff face and river. A bou­tique, five-star ho­tel

If the con­struc­tion Howard Smith Wharves still sur­prises Adam Flaskas is tak­ing - the shape, man nes­tled re­spon­si­ble into the for its rock ex­is­tence wall. A large, - it's ware­house­lit­tle won­der. For more than fifty years, when Bris­bane's port ac­tiv­ity moved down­stream, like this space site, tucked is be­ing as trans­formed it is un­der the into Story a brew­ery, Bridge and and com­pris­ing in­te­rior as it does 8.5 acres of un­in­ter­rupted river frontage barely a five-minute walk de­sign­ers from the CBD, busy has them­selves been the dress­ing most crim­i­nally up the de­vel­op­ment’s un­der-de­vel­oped five space in all of Bris­bane. restau­rant spa­ces, putting the fin­ish­ing touches to what will be

In that time, suc­ces­sive city coun­cils and state gov­ern­ments jeal­ously the new guarded jewel in the Bris­bane’s prime real tourism es­tate and leav­ing gas­tro­nomic mul­ti­ple crown. de­vel­op­ment pro­pos­als to fal­ter be­fore they could even be­gin. “Will you get a load of that?” Flaskas breathes as he stops

"When this site came up, it was smack bang in the heart of the area I mid-com­mute know bet­ter than to sim­ply any­where, take in ev­ery­thing a place I love," in — says barely Flaskas able - a to third­gen­er­a­tion Bris­ban­ite who sin­gle-hand­edly turned Cabarita into a lux­ury be­lieve tourist the des­ti­na­tion sight that with rises his up five-star be­fore him. of­fer­ing, Hal­cyon House. "The land was put up for ten­der six years ago, and I threw my hat in the ring back If then, the con­struc­tion but it was taken of Howard off. Look­ing Smith back, Wharves I don't think can still Bris­bane was quite ready for it. But some­thing has shifted. Now I am feel­ing a sense sur­prise of pride Adam among Flaskas peo­ple — the who man live re­spon­si­ble here. It's an for ex­cit­ing its ex­is­tence time to be do­ing busi­ness and in­vest­ing here." — it’s lit­tle won­der. For more than 50 years, since Bris­bane’s

When Howard Smith Wharves opens to the pub­lic this month (ed: No­vem­ber), port ac­tiv­ity it will moved cre­ate down­stream, 800 jobs and this do site so with — tucked the most un­der ex­cit­ing the new food of­fer­ing to ar­rive in Bris­bane since sliced pineap­ple. Story Bridge and com­pris­ing 8.5 acres of un­in­ter­rupted river

Syd­ney res­tau­ra­teurs Johnathan Barthelemess (The Apollo, Cho Cho frontage San) and barely Matt Yazbek a five-minute (Toko) have walk been from lured the CBD north — by has the been wharves and will join lo­cal lad, An­drew Baturo (Popolo, The Gre­sham Bar) with a the brace most of brand crim­i­nally new un­der­de­vel­oped res­tau­rants. space in all of Bris­bane.

For Barthelemess, whose Greca "a Greek water­front tav­erna in a her­itage In that shed" time, promises suc­ces­sive "all city the coun­cils flavours and and state ac­cents gov­ern­ments of Apollo but en­hanced with lo­cal in­gre­di­ents", it's some­thing of a home­com­ing. jeal­ously guarded the prime real es­tate site, leav­ing mul­ti­ple

"I grew up in Burleigh Heads, surf­ing morn­ing, noon and night, and de­vel­op­ment have al­ways pro­pos­als been at­tracted to fal­ter to be­fore this cor­ner they could of the even coun­try," be­gin. he says. "Food-wise, the place is go­ing off. We'll be sourc­ing the roe for the tara­masalata “When from this a site bloke came around up, it the was cor­ner smack in bang Bris­bane, in the reef heart fish, of pip­pis and bugs from lo­cal fish­er­men and the farm pro­duce - from fin­ger limes the to area Noosa I know red toma­toes bet­ter than - from any­where, lo­cal farm­ers." in a place I love,” says

If home-spun Greek or Toko's brand of high-end Ja­panese doesn't sound Flaskas, your a speed, third-gen­er­a­tion lo­cal boy An­drew Bris­ban­ite Baturo's who modern sin­gle-hand­edly Chi­nese of­fer­ing, Stan­ley - housed as it will be in the her­itage-listed for­mer wa­ter po­lice HQ turned - might Cabarita just be. Beach into a lux­ury tourist des­ti­na­tion with

"It's go­ing to be Hong Kong-in­spired food," he says. "A cui­sine that is his such five-star a won­der­ful of­fer­ing, amal­ga­ma­tion Hal­cyon House. of “The dif­fer­ent land re­gional was put in­flu­ences up for - where the Asian meets the Western palate, which is per­fectly suited to a ten­der city like six Brissie." years ago, and I threw my hat in the ring back then, Baturo, who says "food and meals are the glue that hold fam­i­lies to­gether", but it was reck­ons taken Bris­bane off. Look­ing is ripe back, for a I mini-food don’t think revo­lu­tion. Bris­bane was "Re­tail has in­creas­ingly gone on­line, open­ing up venues all over the quite city, ready cre­at­ing for it. a re­ally But some­thing healthy com­pe­ti­tion has shifted. in Now the I city's am feel­ing restau­rant sec­tor," he says. "We used to take our food cues from what was hap­pen­ing a sense in Syd­ney of pride and among Mel­bourne peo­ple - but who more live and here. more It’s I an feel ex­cit­ing like they are sit­ting up and tak­ing no­tice of us." time to be do­ing busi­ness and in­vest­ing in Bris­bane.”

Round­ing out the HSW of­fer­ing is the new brew­ery, Felons - founded When by a cou­ple Howard of Smith ex-Lit­tle Wharves Crea­tures opens em­ploy­ees to the pub­lic - and the this iconic Over­wa­ter Bar, which is pretty much what it sounds like. Be­cause you know: month, Bris­ban­ites, it will cre­ate beer 800 and jobs a bar and sus­pended do so with over the the most river. ex­cit­ing What can pos­si­bly go wrong? new food of­fer­ing to ar­rive in Bris­bane since sliced pineap­ple.

Syd­ney res­tau­ra­teurs Jonathan Barthelmess (The Apollo, Cho Cho San) and Matt Yazbek (Toko) have been lured north by the wharves and will join lo­cal lad An­drew Baturo (Popolo, Howard Smith Wharves is sym­bolic of the broader trans­for­ma­tion the The once Gre­sham) sleepy with city a of brace Brisve­gas of brand is un­der­go­ing. new res­tau­rants. In­deed, if new ho­tel and restau­rant open­ings and the num­ber of cranes pierc­ing the sky­line are For any Barthelmess, mea­sure, then whose Aus­tralia's Greca venue third city — “a is Greek cur­rently water­front un­der­go­ing some­thing of a boom. tav­erna in a her­itage shed” — promises “all of the flavours and ac­cents of Apollo, but en­hanced with lo­cal in­gre­di­ents”, the move acts as some­thing of a home­com­ing.

“I grew up in Burleigh Heads, surf­ing morn­ing, noon and night, and have al­ways been at­tracted to this cor­ner of the coun­try,” he says. “Food-wise, the place is go­ing off. We’ll

“It’s an ex­cit­ing time to be do­ing busi­ness and in­vest­ing in Bris­bane.”

be sourc­ing the roe for tara­masalata from a bloke around the cor­ner in Bris­bane, reef fish, pip­pis and bugs from lo­cal fish­er­men and the farm pro­duce — from fin­ger limes through to Noosa red toma­toes — from lo­cal farm­ers.”

If home-spun Greek or Toko’s brand of high-end Ja­panese doesn’t sound like it’s up your al­ley, then lo­cal boy An­drew Baturo’s modern Chi­nese of­fer­ing, called Stan­ley — housed in the her­itage-listed for­mer wa­ter po­lice head­quar­ters — might just be.

“It’s go­ing to be Hong Kong-in­spired food,” he ex­plains. “A cui­sine that is such a won­der­ful amal­ga­ma­tion of dif­fer­ent re­gional in­flu­ences — where the Asian meets the Western palate, which is per­fectly suited to a city like Brissie.”

Baturo, who says “food and meals are the glue that hold fam­i­lies to­gether”, reck­ons the River City, as it’s known, is ripe for a mini-food revo­lu­tion.

“Re­tail has in­creas­ingly gone on­line, open­ing up venues all over the city, and cre­at­ing a re­ally healthy com­pe­ti­tion in the city’s restau­rant sec­tor,” he says. “We used to take our food cues from what was hap­pen­ing in Syd­ney and Mel­bourne — but more and more I feel like they are sit­ting up and tak­ing no­tice of us.”

Round­ing out the Howard Street Wharves of­fer­ing are the new brew­ery, Felons Brew­ing Co. — founded by for­mer Lit­tle Crea­tures em­ploy­ees — and the iconic Over­wa­ter Bar, which is pretty much just what it sounds like. Be­cause you know: Bris­ban­ites, beer and a bar that’s sus­pended over the river. What can pos­si­bly go wrong?

BOOM TIME

Howard Smith Wharves is sym­bolic of the broader trans­for­ma­tion the once sleepy city of Brisve­gas is un­der­go­ing. In­deed, if new ho­tel and restau­rant open­ings and the num­ber of cranes pierc­ing the sky­line are any mea­sure, then Aus­tralia’s third-most pop­u­lous city is un­der­go­ing some­thing of a boom.

Around a bend of the Bris­bane River you’ll find the new Em­po­rium Ho­tel. The bou­tique brand re­lo­cated from its pre­vi­ous home in For­ti­tude Val­ley over to South­bank, and Em­po­rium Mark II is big­ger, brassier and even

more sump­tu­ous than its pre­de­ces­sor. Con­ceived and willed into ex­is­tence by de­vel­op­ment-and-in­te­rior-de­sign duo An­thony and Fran John, the new ho­tel has 143 finely ap­pointed rooms — each with com­mand­ing views over the city. Lit­tle touches for guests, such as a fully­stocked EuroCave wine fridge in ev­ery suite, bronze cor­ner-bars with ze­bra print stools in the sig­na­ture Ex­quis­ite Suites and a baby grand pi­ano and karaoke room in the 120 square me­tre Frangi­pani Suite, per­fectly com­ple­ment the new Belle Epoque French-in­spired tea room and a stun­ning rooftop ter­race bar, com­plete with fully re­tractable roof for those steamy Bris­bane nights.

Of course, the Em­po­rium is just one of a slew of new lux­ury digs alight­ing on the Queens­land cap­i­tal. The river­side W Ho­tel threw open her doors ear­lier this year with a lav­ish gold-themed party at­tract­ing the city’s great and good. Culi­nary crew Three Blue Ducks have flown north to roost at the W, while in fa­bled For­ti­tude Val­ley — and smack­bang in the heart of the in­creas­ingly chic James Street precinct — The Calile Ho­tel has added an­other 175 five-star rooms to the city’s hos­pi­tal­ity scene, promis­ing to bring a sub­trop­i­cal re­sort feel to the city’s streets. Un­der­neath is an out­post of wildly pop­u­lar Nobby Beach eatery Hel­lenika. Also in For­ti­tude Val­ley, the old Em­po­rium site is be­ing taken over by the Ovolo Ho­tel Group, em­ploy­ing ar­chi­tec­ture firm Woods Bagot (the team be­hind the de­sign of the Howard Street Wharves) to bring Ovolo’s play­ful spirit to life in its re­design. The brief is to cre­ate an ex­pe­ri­ence that cel­e­brates the eclec­tic cul­ture of the Val­ley through colour, quirk and orig­i­nal art­work. Look out for the Bowie pent­house suites, in­cor­po­rat­ing a suit­ably 1970s-in­spired vel­vet lounge and gold bar.

Fi­nally, Bris­bane is get­ting ready to wel­come a new five-star Westin ho­tel on the scene this month. Sit­u­ated within walk­ing dis­tance of the Botanic Gar­dens, Queen Street Mall and the CBD, the in­ter­na­tional brand is bring­ing its sig­na­ture well­ness theme to the city. Ameni­ties in­clude a fit­ness stu­dio and run­ning concierge or, if that’s all a lit­tle bit too healthy for you, dive into the city’s first swim-up pool bar.

If new ho­tel and restau­rant open­ings are any mea­sure, then Aus­tralia’s third-most pop­u­lous city is un­der­go­ing a boom.

FROM TOP Howard Smith Wharves are set to re­vi­talise Bris­bane; de­vel­oper Adam Flaskas; five-star ho­tel The Westin Bris­bane opens this month. OPENERThe Howard Smith Wharves un­der Bris­bane’s iconic Story Bridge.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT Em­po­rium Ho­tel moved from For­ti­tude Val­ley to South Bank; Ital­ian restau­rant Otto; Ovolo The Val­ley.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.