Stuck between a river and a city centre, is a little nook many of you will learn to love. Now, most people who have been to Brisbane have heard of it and everyone has a different opinion. But in one week of living in West End, you can experience a lot. In my first week, I saw a man with a perfectly groomed moustache, a top hat and nothing but a Persian floor rug to cover himself. I could tell any local Brisbanite this, they would shrug their shoulders and say something like “yeah, it is West End after all”. But West End is also home to some good times, if you don’t have a week, try a weekend.
Bound for Boundary Street
There is no way to experience West End but in one go, so forget your stilettos and pack your band-aids, we’re going on a pub crawl.
1. The End
- I thought it was kinda ironic that this is the best place to start, but it does work. The End is the place you take your friend, when you want to show them that you are cool and up with the times. With regular mixes of live music, in what looks like an enclosed alleyway and a bar on the other, this will help you get in the mood, (please don’t ask me what the mood might be, I am still trying to figure it out).
- Additional notes: The bar staff are always super friendly and quirky, I always get them to suggest me a drink and somehow they just know what I need even if I don’t (I might start asking for life advice instead of drinks).
2. The Catchment Brewing Co,
- Can you find a place that screams ‘beer brewery I wished I lived in’ more than this place? yeah, I didn’t think so? For craft beer and specialty wines that will suit all your fancies, you’ll be swimming with choice.
- Additional notes: Casual and laid back, with a beautiful view of Boundary, that will later come in handy, trying to remember how to get home, when fried.
3. Lock ’n’ Load Bistro,
- Tuesday to Saturday, expect good vibes, live music, great beer, soulful food and to be dancing all night long. You can have a nice relaxed dinner with someone special or have a drink with mates but always with top-notch entertainment. With the Bistro broken up into an upstairs bar and balcony section, a dining area and front entrance bar, we all fit in at Lock ‘n’ Load.
- Additional notes: Exercise caution with the cheeky guitar player that won’t stop posing for photos.
4. Bearded Lady,
- Okay, so West End might be a little ‘Alternative’, but at the Bearded Lady, you will learn a lot about that word. Especially about how looks can be deceiving, or are they? You’ll find out after one of their quirky cocktails or unique drinks.
- Additional notes: Expect the unexpected, known for supporting local musicians as a cheap venue but even art exhibitions.
5. Brisbane Brewing Co,
- At first, it might look like a cute little alleyway but be prepared. Like you aren’t wrong but all dark alleyways lead somewhere and you won’t regret where this one might take you.
- Additional notes: There is seriously a lot more to this sweet little alleyway, and it is all just as Instagram worthy.
5. Rumpus Room,
- 3pm-2am every day, now this is what I call a reliable local. Always has solid a crowd, super fun after the Boundary Street Markets, which is held literally right next door on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Additional notes: You might somehow end up back here and not remember how or why but just accept it and all the advice from the woman sitting on the giant lizard, has for you.
6. The Archive,
- A pub with books! Too bad you probably have double vision by now. But there is still plenty for you here, like pool tables, live music, the comfiest couches in existence and the fact that beer IS life here.
- Additional notes: Probably don’t try to read the books, you will look like a fool as they are fake.
7. The Motor Room (The Boundary Hotel),
- The Motor Room, it brings a tear to any locals eye. It was originally closed when developers bought the old factory it resided in but it has a home at the boundary hotel. This new venue has also become home to all those hiding from the man and those ready for a loud night
- Additional notes: You might get lost, but it is the MAN’s fault!
8. Lychee Lounge,
- You might be tempted to go here and sip on a beautifully crafted cocktail that you have never heard of. You might be confused as to why said cocktail hasn’t been in your life longer. But you can’t, you have to try and figure out who the hell, decorated that place because they are a genius!
- Additional notes: Don’t question the ingredients in the cocktail.
- This place kinda feels like a bar you should have a secret password for. Not only does it not have any name on the door, it has blackout curtains and big heavy door. However, once you step in you will know where you are, a massive bar, regular live Jazz, cosy nooks and just the warmest atmosphere.
- Additional notes: If it doesn’t look like a bar and just looks like a closed shop with no signage, you are in the right place.
Drink Responsibly, blacking out while trying to order a HSP is not as fun as you might think.
Now, the most important thing about this is breakfast the morning after. Because we are talking about a place, that has a cafe called the morning after. It might sound painful at first but it is what you need, you don’t know it now, but I promise you that this is what you need. With my latest approximation of 45+ breakfast joints for the simple 190-hectare suburb, you will find the real meaning of breakfast.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any of the triggering flashbacks from the night before, that was all you.