Become an insider on the whereabouts of Brisbane’s bars hidden within other bars… a bar inception compilation, if you must.
Secret bars, where you have to enter through a bookcase, fire escape door or brewery, make you feel like you’ve got the edge on your friends. There’s something really cool about inviting your friends to have a drink somewhere, where they respond, “What… come again?”
So here are 7 bars you might want to add to your drinking discovery list:
Private Bar - Miss Kay’s
Burgers, beers and a secret bar… What more could we ask for? New CBD burger joint and bar Miss Kay’s serves up 9 ridiculously tantalising burger creations and their suggestion couldn’t be more accurate: ‘It’s a place to share drinks, but not your burgers’. The two-story venue has ample seating indoors and out, to share a craft beer, cider or cocktail jug with friends. Their ‘Private Bar’ at this stage is only available for private events and parties.
Entry: Through a bookcase on the second level.
Mermaid Lounge – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle ‘o rum, this hidden sea-faring, pirate and mermaid-esque bar specialises in rum and rum-based cocktails. The Mermaid Lounge within Lefty’s on Caxton Street, Petrie Terrace is decked out with fish netted ceilings, mermaid artwork, anchors, wooden steers and a soundtrack to get you in the mood for getting ship-wrecked.
Entry: To the left when you enter Lefty’s or through the ‘fire escape’ door on the second level.
Secret Bar - Kwan Brothers
This Asian late night gritty-warehouse venue in Fortitude Valley is adorned with Asian bling and pop culture fusions, including a cluster of hanging disco balls, festoon lanterns and oilpaper umbrellas. The walls are heavily plastered with graffiti artwork and paper collages, including a mural of Psy(Gangnam Style), which would detract the average punter’s eye from the unassuming bland door out the back. The hidden intimate bar has cosy booth seating, dark black walls and an interesting bar where bartenders carve ice-cubes in front of you in ‘The Japanese Cut’; mega ice cubes to fit a single glass.
Entry: Walk past the kitchen and through the closed cold-room door.
Walrus Club – The Regatta Hotel
Head back in time to an underground speakeasy hidden below Toowong’s Regatta, where old-fashioned class and respect is still in tact. This venue has more than 300 spirits, including a rum diary of 170 rums to experience in their rustic décor with low lighting, leather couches and exposed brick wall corridors and rooms. Dress sharp though, as the dress standard is strict, with the security only letting in those sporting their finest threads and manners.
Entry: Down the unassuming stairs marked with a stencilled walrus insignia.
5 bars in 1 - Heya Bar
Described by one of the Style journos as a bar-labyrinth, this venue has 5 bars scattered around the venue, serving up a host of creative cocktail creations. The venue also hosts live music, pool tables, pinball machines and quirky Pan Asian street food. Gather your friends around for a bar hop of all 5, including Bar 80’s, Kohaku bar, Yama bar, Street Eats and Bar Lonley, and all the while never leaving the venue.
Entry: Through the old Brunswick Social entrance.
Hipwood Hollow - International Hotel
Brisbane-ites love their microbreweries and this intimate bar offers the many delicious craft beers from the Hipwood Microbrewery in Spring Hill. This inviting craft beer venue hosts visible copper brewing tanks and a timber bar. The in-house taps are constantly evolving with seasonal and regional beers, for your drinking pleasure.
Entry: Through the bottle shop and down the staircase.
Fever Club - Alfred & Constance
Underground disco anyone? This bar-cave is located under A&C in the Valley, with brick walls and neon lights everywhere, including the ceiling! Upon entry the illuminated ‘Cocktails, Bitches’ sign will have you contemplating their extensive list of enticing cocktails and shots and even an intense boogie down with their groovy beats.
Entry: Under the staircase going up to the Tiki Bar there is a staircase going down below.