Earlier this year we freaked over the announcement of the Howard Smith Wharves development, and have since been eagerly anticipating the latest news of the next stage of the project.

For those not in the know, the Howard Smith Wharves development is part of plans to continually advance the River City, and will transform a currently unused area into a riverside lifestyle precinct. Nestled beneath the iconic Story Bridge, the waterfront development will connect the New Farm Riverwalk with the CBD, and will include everything from restaurants and parks to a boutique hotel and exhibition space. The existing heritage buildings will be restored and used to host markets, festivals and exhibitions. The development is centred on engaging with the river and is set to elevate Brisbane’s profile to compete with the sleekest of international destinations.

So, it’s a pretty big deal.

As part of the project, a foodie hub is being developed right on the water’s edge and will become Brisbane’s newest riverside drinking and dining destination. The 3.4-hectare precinct will include an array of world-class restaurants and bars which we have no doubt will entice us to the shores come the launch.

So far four venues have been announced: a Greek restaurant from Sydney chef and restaurateur Jonathan Barthelmess (of The Apollo and Cho Cho San); a two-level Hong Kong-inspired venture from BNE locals Andrew Baturo (of The Gresham) and Kym Machin (of Bare Bone’s Society); a waterfront Japanese restaurant, bar and event space from Matt Yazbek (of Sydney’s Toko); as well as a 200m² octagonal building housing Overwater Bar, that, as the name suggests, will boast some of the best river views in town. Brisbane designer Anna Spiro will have a hand in the interiors of the Asian-fusion eatery and the conceptual bar, promising her characteristic textiles and uniquely-Queenslander touch.

As well as the previously announced 5-star boutique Art Series Hotel, a craft brewery for boozy arvos, the 1500m² exhibition and entertainment area, and a wide offering of public parks and spaces, the Howard Smith Wharves are shaping up to be Brisbane’s ultimate riverside destination, leaving South Bank and Eagle Street shaking in their boots.

If like us the prospect of a new riverside foodie destination, just a stone’s throw from the city and the Valley, has you dreaming of long summer afternoons and lazy weekends with a drink in hand, you’ll need to wait just a little bit longer. Despite the announcement, the precinct isn’t set to open until late 2018, with completion of the entire development pencilled in for 2020.

In the meantime, Brisbane is flourishing with so many new openings (example A, B and C) that we’ll be kept busy for a while checking them all out.

For more information about the Howard Smith Wharves Development, check out the entire development here.

Feature image: Howard Smith Wharves artist impression, accessed via Brisbane Development.

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