Brisbane’s foodie empires

Brisbane’s foodie empires

Meet the people behind some of Brisbane’s favourite places to eat and drink

By Hannah Doody | 30th June 2016

Damian Griffiths: Alfred & Constance, Alfredo’s, Kwan Brothers, Limes Hotel, Mr Fitz, Doughnut Time, Les Bubbles, Chester Street Bakery.

Damian Griffiths in front of Mister Fitz

Damian Griffiths in front of Mister Fitz

In 2012, Damian Griffiths left his law career to open Brisbane’s first hotel and rooftop bar, Limes Hotel.

Over the years, he transformed a once-quiet area of Fortitude Valley, opening Alfred & Constance (“a café, restaurant, beer garden, tiki bar and nightclub together as one”), Kwan Brothers (“an amalgamation of Japanese izakayas and street vendors of Southeast Asia”) and Alfredo’s.

Damian attributes his success to intuition, knowing and engaging with his audience, and having a hands-on approach to his work.

What does the future hold? Damian is currently working on projects for Brisbane, the Gold Coast and beyond.
Moubment Group: The Apo, Gerard’s Bar and Charcuterie, Gerard’s Bistro, Hatch & Co, Kiosk, The Defiant Duck and Laruche.

Moubment Group

The Moubaraks and a dish from The Apo

It all started when Elie Moubarak opened Lychee Lounge 16 years ago in West End. After its success, Elie teamed up with his younger siblings, Johnny and Katie, to open Laruche Bar in Fortitude Valley. Katie says their success stems from having cultivated an appreciation for different ways of doing things.

“We all value the power of design, music, art and food, and these four elements are the backbone of each of our venues,” she says.

Being equally strong-minded siblings doesn’t come without its complications, but the Moubaraks say this just fuels their passion for the Brisbane food scene.

“We are all contributing to something bigger,” says Katie. “We are putting Brisbane on the map.”
Jason Coats: Eleven Rooftop Bar, The Jetty South Bank and Bulimba.

Jason Coats at Eleven Rooftop Bar

Jason Coats at Eleven Rooftop Bar

Jason Coats closed Liquorish in 2009 to make way for riverside venues The Jetty at Bulimba, and a sister restaurant at South Bank in 2012. Jason says Brisbane’s food scene has transformed recently.

“It used to be all fine dining, but lately we’ve seen the revolution of themed venues – burgers, American diners, Mexican, Asian. Our customers are now well-travelled and cultured, so the food scene has evolved to match.”

A trip to Istanbul was the catalyst for opening his most recent venue, Eleven Rooftop Bar.

“I was enjoying the spectacular rooftop bars when I said to the boys, ‘Do you think this would work in Brisbane?’ Then the opportunity arose with the venue and its 270-degree views of the city.”

The secret to his success? “Great location, great people and consistent product.”


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Article by Hannah Doody

Hannah is a former journalist at Style Magazines. When she is not exploring new parts of the world, you will find her at music festivals, or on her eternal quest for the best breakfast in Brisbane.


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