Woolloongabba’s New Neighbourhood Bistro Is From Two Hospitality Stars

Meet your new neighbour


By Dinushka Gunasekara | 20th January 2022

At its genesis, a restaurant is a place where you want to eat the food and spend the time, and that’s exactly what Woolloongabba’s latest haunt is setting out to achieve.

Within worn bricks and rustic timber, Clarence is the humble passion project of two hospitality veterans with envious resumes – Franklin Heaney (senior front-of-house at The Fish House and Nineteen at The Star) and Ben McShane (sous chef at Nineteen at The Star and Umu in London) – who sought a reprieve from posh limitations by opening a cosy neighbourhood restaurant.

Taking cues from neo-Parisian bistros, Clarence will serve up a vegetable-focused menu that highlights the best available produce with minimal intervention. While the menu will change weekly, you can expect modern, pared back dishes like green beans with white peaches, almond cream, and marjoram, heirloom tomato salad with baby pepper and mozzarella sauce, or wild shot venison with black garlic bread sauce, beetroot, and blackberry.

As for drinks, you’re looking at a careful curation of wines, leaning towards small and unique makers that are often organic, biodynamic, and natural. Poured to the tune of Prince that might be playing a little too loud, this charming locale is sure to be welcomed to the neighbourhood with open arms.

Clarence is set to open on 27 January at 617 Stanley Street, Woolloongabba.