What, exactly, encapsulates quintessential Queensland? Is it our 200-plus days of sunshine every year, or our laid-back lifestyle and friendly faces? In Brisbane, we like to think it's all that and more, like our unique heritage-style buildings we like to call Queenslanders, in which we live, work, drink and relax. Here's some of the top places you can explore to glean an essence of what it is to be a Queenslander.
PUBS AND BARS
The Regatta Hotel
Instantly recognisable for its yawning white lattice verandas, The Regatta Hotel on the riverside at Toowong has been entertaining Brisbane since 1874. She's survived her fair share of floods and, most notably, made the headlines in 1965 when local feminists Merle Thornton and Rosalie Bogner chained themselves to the public bar in protest against women not being able to drink there. This led to the women's liberation movement in Brisbane. You'll find plenty of women and men enjoying The Regatta these days.
The Story Bridge Hotel
Every city has a story and you'll find plenty of tall yarns at The Story Bridge Hotel. Situated, as the name suggests, next to the iconic Story Bridge, this establishment at Kangaroo Point dates back to 1886. At one stage its bottle shop was a converted World War Two bomb shelter. This is also home to the annual Australia Day Cockroach Races and the National Festival of Beers if you like a cold beer washed down with a bit of quirky entertainment.
Sixes and Sevens Bar
A new and exciting entry into the city's pub scene, Sixes and Sevens Bar is housed in an 1878 heritage-listed cottage in the trendy James Street precinct in New Farm. The fireplace still works, there's a display cabinet of old letters and even some ancient photos discovered during renovations.
Alfred & Constance
You can't help but feel like you're catching up with old mates when you visit Alfred & Constance. Named after the two Fortitude Valley street corners on which it sits, this establishment is actually two neighbouring Queenslanders linked by a walkway with a number of different eating and drinking spots. Check out the Vanguard Beer Garden and the White Lightning Tiki Bar.
Breakfast Creek Hotel
If a Brisbane person tells you they're going to “The Creek” they aren't referring to water. Rather, it's one of the city's most famous hotels dating back to 1889. Many Brisbane residents returning to the capital after a trip overseas stop here at Hamilton for its succulent steaks you can select from a huge cool cabinet and trademark beer off the wood.
The Normanby Hotel
There's five ways you can get to this pub but only one Normanby Hotel. Perched up at Red Hill at the Fiveways, this Victorian-style hotel was built in 1889. It is said to channel Queen Anne style such as red brick finish, bay and oriel windows and a timber shingle roof with gables. Here, you'll find entertainment 52 weeks a year. We just wonder what the Queen would have had to say about that.
Not to be confused with The Normanby Hotel, the sprawling Norman Hotel touts itself as “Brisbane's Worst Vegetarian Restaurant”. Yes folks, that's right. It's all the about the steak here and when you read the menu, you'll understand why diners love stormin' the Norman. Built in 1889, this pub is perched on a Woolloongabba corner.
The Pineapple Hotel
You'd have to travel a long way to find a pub which sounds more Queensland than The Pineapple. If you want to sound like a Brisbanite, we call it “The Piney” here. Situated at Kangaroo Point and built in 1864, this Brissie beauty has a steakhouse and a couple of watering holes such as the aptly-named Plantation Bar. As for the fruit itself, you'll just have to go and find out.
The Caxton Hotel
If cricket fans love The Chalk, than it's rugby fans that love the Caxton. Locals here call it “The Cacko” and it's been laughing all the way to the bank since it was built in 1884, making it one of Brisbane's oldest licensed premises. These days this old girl springs to life whenever any game is one at nearby Suncorp Stadium.
Pretty Paddington, or Paddo to the locals, is one of the best examples of Queensland-style architecture. More than 130 cottages have been preserved along this steep ridge and transformed into shops, restaurants and businesses.
Home to the Brisbane Powerhouse, the original building used to power the city's trams and now an art and entertainment precinct, New Farm is also renowned for its elegant Queenslander homes. One of these, Spicers Balfour, has been turned into an intimate hotel which exudes Brisbane style.
Along Logan Road at Woolloongabba you'll see plenty of evidence of old-style buildings enjoying a modern-day reincarnation. The Pearl Café is one of these, housed in one of Brisbane's oldest buildings which dates back to 1855. Residential houses in this area also retain their cottage charm.
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Author: Tourism and Events Queensland
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