What do you get when you cross two successful bar owners, a talented bartender, and a cool carpenter? It might sound like the setup for a joke about hipsters, but it's actually a very real question that had the food-and-bar loving folk of Brisbane perking up their ears inquisitively.
From the minds of Dan Rodriguez and Bodie Schofield (owners of Canvas) and new partners Nick Royds and Adam Pykett, Electric Avenue is the new bar + bistro embracing the rich history of the Woolloongabba Fiveways precinct. With dapper waiters in black-tie, heavy countertops, taxidermy, antiques, and dim chandeliers, this old-world bar perfectly captures the charm and style of speakeasy bars of old, without feeling dated or drab. With all the hype and curiosity surrounding the bar prior to opening, we were keen to see what the team would bring to the table in a suburb the sorely needs some new life breathed into it.
The 50-seat bistro feels welcoming and indulgent, with heavy burgundy curtains and black leather banquettes. The bistro menu, designed by head chef Will Quartel (previously of Sourced Grocer), is creative and inspired and allows guests to enjoy fine dining without the price tag or stiff formality. Allow yourself to be tempted by the ricotta and chestnut ravioli with celeriac, mache, and aged parsnip, or the grilled quail with pine mushrooms, merlot figs, rye, and caramelised soymilk. For something sweet, you can't go past the indulgent aged bananas, with sesame peanut brittle, burnt banana peel sugar, and burnt miso.
For post-dinner drinks or Friday afternoon knockoffs, head straight to the bar. The cosy nooks are perfect for intimate drinking, whilst the external 'courtyard', festooned with fairy lights and antique toys, is perfect for loud conversation and long nights. The drinks menu has been carefully curated, with a wide range of liquors and wines on display behind the bar. The cocktail menu is brief (a selection of five classics, each with a creative quirk), the wine selection is expansive (75+), and the whisky list is enough to impress even the most avid whisky drinker. And can we let you in on a little secret? At the end of the heavy wooden bar the bartenders are finishing rye bourbon in an old port-barrel, and yes, it is delicious. If you're extra charming, the talented bartenders might whip together a special drink just for you.
Even once you've relaxed at the bar and indulged in the bistro, this cool, cosy bar still has some tricks up their sleeve, with a hidden speakeasy-style jazz and whisky bar, Jack Rabbit, tucked away behind a secret entrance. We ain't no snitch, so it will be up to you to find out where it is...
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