New venue ... Mal Gill and Bec Saul. Photo: Natascha Mirosch
Let's face it: Stones Corner has always been a bit daggy, with limited eating and drinking options. Then came the sunny couple from TV cooking competition My Restaurant Rules, Mal Gill and Bec Saul, who opened the quirky Lady Marmalade café in an old record store. And locals were thankful.
They're going to be even more grateful on hearing that the couple have plans to open a bar down the road. Shady Palms will be in a big old Queenslander at the far end of Logan Road and will eventually have space for 200 in five separate areas, including a laneway bocce court, a gazebo and annex.
"There's really nowhere to go and have a drink on this side of town that's not a pub," says Mal. "We want to embrace the Queensland tradition of drinking outside, and for people to feel welcome to come and any time of day, even in their thongs after a swim if they want."
Mal says they're going to open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and are going for a Southern-USA border feel, with the menu venturing into Tex-Mex territory.
"We'll put on the po boys we have at Marmalade, but also things you don't see everywhere, like deep fried pickles with ranch sauce."
They'll also be putting together a craft cider and beer list, he says.
"We're so excited – we've had our eye on this space for ages and can't believe no one bought it while we were saving our pennies."
Lady Marmalade fans can rest easy – the café will remain open, with Bec taking sole charge while Mal develops Shady Palms. And yes, there will be shady palms.
The bar is expected to open within the next three months, Mal says.