Upper-end dining might be on a go-slow, but there's no room for a breather at the more casual end of hospitality.
The much awaited Sangria Bar at Ole in South Bank opens Friday, November 22, with seven different varieties of sangria on pour, including a "sangria of the day" and flights of any four for $20. A surprisingly extensive menu includes bocaditos (little mouthfuls/morsels) and raciones to share, as well as a short dessert menu served up until midnight from Thursday to Saturday.
Then there's The Battery Station in Fortitude Valley, a cafe and bar at an old service station. Scheduled to open on Friday, December 13, the refurbished cafe will be in keeping with the history and location of the place, including street art murals painted on the walls around the large outdoor space at the back, says owner Shaun Drury. It will be open from breakfast through to dinner, and the menu will be casual and reasonably priced. Drury says his original aim was to be just a cafe but so many curious passersby mentioned what a great bar it would be that he's applied for his liquor license and will serve up a fairly straightforward range of drinks.
Meanwhile, there's plenty happening in the 'burbs as well. Red Lotus, the popular upmarket Vietnamese in Fortitude Valley is opening a second branch in Cracknell Road in Annerley. Owner Leighton Rossi is the brother of Margaret Nguyen, who owns Cafe O'Mai next door. Locals say that Cafe O'Mai has transformed the once dowdy and deserted Chardon's Corner and it's his sister's success that persuaded Rossi that a second restaurant would work there.
"Actually Cafe O'Mai is always choc-a-block, but it's not open at night, so we thought it was a good idea to capitalise on that," Rossi says.
The menu prices will be pitched slightly lower than the Valley restaurant according to Rossi, but all of the best-loved dishes from there will feature. Scheduled to open on December 4, the restaurant will be BYO until a liquor licence is procured.
Adding further choice to the Logan Road dining precinct in Woolloongabba is Sorellina, which opened last week. It's serving up a simple menu of traditional woodfired pizza on "red" or "white" bases, a range of appetisers, three beers on tap, eight by the bottle, and an interesting Italian-focused wine list.
Meanwhile, city workers who adhere to the paleo diet can breakfast or lunch at Brisbane's Paleo Cafe. Eschewing pizza and all other grain-based produce, in addition to dairy, sugar, gluten and preservatives, it's the fourth paleo cafe to open in recent times in Brisbane and by all accounts has been going full pelt since opening on Wednesday.
Sangria Bar at Ole, Shop B13/14, Grey Street, South Bank.
The Battery Station, 608 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley.
Red Lotus, 1/1 Cracknell Road, Annerley.
Sorellina, 11 Logan Road, Woolloongabba.
Paleo Cafe, Shop 3, 10 Market Street, CBD.