Long live the Brisbane Friday long lunch

Anne-Louise Brown
E'cco is a popular lunch spot with the corporate crowd.
E'cco is a popular lunch spot with the corporate crowd. Photo: Supplied

Two courses – maybe three.

A bottle of wine. Or two.

Long live the long lunch, that cheeky indulgence that makes the working week go that much faster.

And there's good news – it's still alive and kicking.

Though no longer a standard inclusion on the daily business schedule – that fabled time when deals were struck between a prawn cocktail entree, a lobster thermidor main and two bottles of chianti - the long lunch has seen a resurgence in Brisbane, with Fridays proving most popular.

Philip Johnson, founder of E'cco bistro, says “there's nothing nicer than finishing the week with a long lunch”, and the corporate crowd agree.

“It's not as prevalent as it once was through the week, but on Fridays we're always full for lunch. It's the end of the week and people just want to kick back a bit,” Johnson said.

“The Friday lunch is a great time for people to come together, do business and socialise.”

Nick Gregorski, owner of The Alliance Hotel in Spring Hill, reckons long lunches “make the world go around”.

He has noticed they've become more popular, especially on Fridays when the working week is done and there is time to linger.

“The great thing about doing lunch is that people are talking, they're doing business and they're socialising at the same time. It's all about building relationships,” Gregorski said.

“When you're eating good food, have a glass of wine, and are relaxed, it's a great time to network and share ideas.”

Eagle Street Pier institution Il Centro has long been a purveyor of the long lunch, and though times have changed, Fridays remain busy.

“People like to hang around on a Friday, have two or three courses, and then head to our new bar, Mr and Mrs G,” says manager Zahir Meher-Homji.

“During the week people still come in for lunch, but it's quick. On Fridays they're not in so much of a hurry, take their time and enjoy the experience.”

Even suburban establishments are benefitting from the Friday flourish, with a wider range of clientele looking to dine and imbibe.

Brigitte Cumming, maitre d' of Annerley's Azafran, says winter is especially popular for long lunches, as people seek out comfort food and company.

“We have people from all walks of life enjoying long lunches – be it local business people or groups of friends out for a nice lunch and a glass of wine or two,” she said.

“Fridays are definitely the most popular and people tend to let their hair down more. Workplaces especially tend to celebrate things on Fridays, so people are in a celebratory mood and ready to kick back.”

Throughout the week, the lunch crowd at Wilston's Citron generally consists of mums meeting for a meal and a chat. But on Fridays business groups like to indulge in up to four courses.

Citron co-owner Robert Foley said “you never know what will happen at lunch”.

“Sometimes it's not too busy and other days we're run off our feet,” he said.

“The business groups that like to come in on Fridays like to take their time and have a few drinks.

“They also like to try a lot of dishes and share. It's a really social event.”

As part of Good Food Month some of Brisbane's top restaurants are serving up Let's Do Lunch deals. See goodfoodmonth.com.