We suspect that quite a few drivers would have slowed down at the sight of a whole pig in the window of mega-venue The Charming Squire, which opened quietly on Grey Street in South Brisbane last night.
The restaurant/bar/brewery, which is a partnership between the Mantle Group and James Squire beer, features a kitchen that is not only open to the restaurant, but to the street as well, making for a bit of entertainment for passers-by.
The pig, along with rotating specials of lamb and beef, is destined for the wood-fire spit roast, along with a menu of Kimberley Red steaks.
The executive chef is Deniz Coskun, formerly of Brett's Wharf and Tank. He joined the Mantle Group (also owners of the Pig 'n' Whistle) last year. The head chef is Nick Baker.
"Everyone talks about paddock to plate but we really wanted to work with the architect to highlight that connection in the kitchen," Coskun says.
"It's not something that everyone is going to enjoy seeing as they walk past but it makes a statement."
Coskun admits he's had to give some pretty swift instruction in breaking down a beast to the kitchen staff.
"Most have never done it before and it can be pretty daunting ... at first, but it's pretty logical."
As well as all the usual cuts, Coskun is keen to showcase lesser but often more flavoursome cuts such as flank, bavette and flat iron steak. A pizzaiolo will also be spinning pizza at the bench in front of the streetside window.
Seating 600, the impressive fit-out cost a cool $5 million and features an open plan design with a beaten copper bar and copper beer taps (some of which are connected directly to the tanks in the glassed-in brewing room above).
The restaurant of the split-level venue has seating for about 200, with a mix of individual tables, a custom-made share table and booth seating. At the end near South Brisbane train station, there is also a deli called the Brewer's Store, which will serve breakfast, coffee and lunch options.
There's also a bar and keg room with floor-to-ceiling glass and two function areas upstairs, along with a brewery with nine beer tanks. (Incidentally, ladies, don't worry about the glass wall in the female toilets upstairs - the view into the brewery is one way.)
The bar naturally features James Squire beers and two ciders as well as two unique brews made on site. Non-beer fans will enjoy the more-than-adequate wine and spirits list.
The Charming Squire, 133 Grey Street, 11am to late (daily). The Brewer's Store is open for breakfast.