Jimmy and Monica Strong in their new cafe/bar, Artie and Mai.
Jimmy and Monica Strong have named their new cafe/bar after their children. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

Natascha Mirosch

It's been an Italian pizza joint and a Swedish eatery but the trademark red shopfront on Sandgate Road in Albion is reopening this weekend as a cafe/bar called Artie and Mai.

Monica Strong and husband Jimmy recently returned to Monica's hometown after selling their espresso bar/bike shop in Sydney.

"We've got two young kids and we always thought we'd give Brisbane a go and move back sometime. It just seemed like the right time now," Monica Strong says.

The cafe/bar, which is replacing the former Swedish eatery, Stockholm Syndrome, is named after their two children, Arthur and Maible. It will feature more casual cafe style food by day with the menu running from breakfast through to lunch. The menu will be ramping it up a little more at night with French-inspired dishes overseen by French chef Tarik Marco, fresh off the plane from Paris.

So why choose the north side suburb? Strong says they didn't have a particular location in mind when looking for a site, rather they liked the Albion area and thought the suburb needed a little life.

"We haven't done a lot to the building itself; we've kept the bones but just simplified the décor a bit to bring out the beauty of the building," Strong says.

Shared dining is the go, with large tables and a menu of small and large share plates such as Batlow cider roast pork sandwich with apple sauce, lamb on the bone with rosemary and ratatouille, and charcuterie and cheese plates. There will be three craft beers on tap with more in the bottle, as well as a cocktail list and a mix of Australian and New Zealand wines. After a practice run with friends and family, Artie and Mai will open on Saturday from 7am.

Artie and Mai, 340 Sandgate Road, Albion, 07 3862 1295