We Brisbanites have affectionately referred to our home town as Bris Vegas for years. Back in the day it was pure tongue in cheek, given our city’s nightlife more closely resembled the pub culture of a small country town rather than the bright lights of Nevada’s famous casino strip. The best thing to do was wear pluggers and drink schooners at one of the uni bars, before topping off the night with a dirty kebab on the way home. Thankfully those days are long gone and Bris Vegas is – dare we say it – actually living up to its name, with awesome bars popping up on every corner. Here’s where to get in on the action.
Laruche set up stumps back in 2009 and has been enticing patrons with its delicious drinks, crafty bartenders and opulent interior ever since. Although it has expanded in recent times and now boats a great little beer garden, we always find it hard to leave the plush, chandelier-lined interiors. So get in early, grab a velvet lounge and settle in for the long haul.
While our favourite thing about Hoo Ha Bar is the name, the venue itself is also pretty darn good. The combination of comfy couches, low lighting, impeccable drinks menu and finger-lickin’ burgers leaves it oozing effortless cool. Join the steady crowd of regulars and see what the fuss is all about.
The Tree House in Fortitude Valley is the perfect place to go for craft beers, organic wines and a bucketful of whimsy. The set-up here is deliberately Peter Pan-esque and comes complete with log stools, hanging lanterns and a leafy green canopy. Hint: it’s a great place for date night.
Is it just us or do things always feel so much cooler when you’re 10 metres above ground and surrounded by city lights? If you agree, head to Up On Constance for pure rooftop glory. Watch the sunset, brewski or champers in hand, and stick around for the DJ who’ll have you dancing well into the wee hours.
In a perfect homage to its home state, Alfred and Constance sits proudly in two converted Queenslanders in the Valley. The pina coladas come in pineapples, the dinners come on carving boards, and the cool kids come at all hours. Be there or be square.
Heya Bar is the ultimate in one stop shops when it comes to a night on the town. It opens early and closes late, fuels its patrons with Asian street food (you must try to cheeseburger spring rolls!), craft beers and cocktails, and entertains with live music, pool tables and pin ball machines. What’s not to love?
For something a little bit different, head to The Bearded Lady in West End for live music dive bar perfection. A little bit hipster, a little bit grunge and highly likely to keep you going until the oft-unseen pre-dawn hours.
As far as names go, the Bar of Social Conscience in West End is a strange one. It makes itself sound far more serious than it is but fear not – the only thing morally pure about this place is that it sends a portion of its profits direct to a Mexican orphanage. A night here will see you lapping up small bar culture at its finest, with local beers, eclectic wines, and every kind of gin you can imagine. And yes, you should buy another round because every penny spent here is a charitable donation.