May 5, 2015 by 250 Beers
I’m guilty of using the word ‘burgeon’ as much as the next guy when it comes to describing Brisbane’s beer scene. Although I do tend to opt for ‘flourish’ or ‘booming’ where possible. Burgeon sounds just a little bit too French 14th Century to me.
The thing is, there really is no other word that best describes the rate of knots at which Brisbane’s beer, bar and brewery community is growing.
Three brand-spanking new bars dedicated to the cause of good beer have opened in the past month or so with another two to open shortly – and by that I mean just days.
One of those imminent arrivals is Bloodhound Corner Bar & Kitchen. Rumoured to be opening today – Tuesday 5th April.
Perched on the corner of Brunswick and Robertson Streets in Fortitude Valley, Bloodhound will assist in adding more class to an area of the Valley that residents of New Farm have so long turned their backs on. Who in their right mind would want to venture out of New Farm and seek a Brunswick Street venue? Nobody! Not unless they’re of a binge drinking ilk and like to chug on vodka mixers, throw up in the gutter and fall semi-naked into oncoming traffic of course. That has changed. The Pig ‘n’ Whistle’s elegant Brunswick Street venue confirms that. Now, Bloodhound Bar has cemented it.
I was grateful of a sneaky tour of the joint last week by co-owner David ‘The Burrow’ Bajka. Grateful as in I’m not just a beer freak but an inquisitive one at that.
The bar has an honest WOW! factor about it. It’s easy to say this being a new venue but it really does emit warmth, quality and hard workmanship. David and his partners have stripped back the 20 year old linoleum, flags and slime from what was the famous Tibetan Kitchen and taken the interior of this building back to it’s 1882 origins and former glory.
The building was originally a grocery store with a traditional shop frontage and staff quarters to the rear of the structure. Fixtures and fittings from back in the day have been exposed during the overhaul including many historic fire places throughout which will remain thanks to David’s desire to tie them in as features. Why the bloody hell not? We live in an era where peering back into our past is cherished instead of covering our history with cheap lino and plastic facades.
The front bar area is comfortable with high tables and stools, exposed brickwork, original timber floor and an amazing work of art by Frank & Mimi (these guys can do no wrong).
One step into the back room and you’d be excused for thinking you’d stepped back in time. A decent sized room with a cavernous high ceiling welcomes you. Booths, a stained glass window, soft lighting and a large fireplace…I likened this area to a small church. The timber and pitched roof above sets the scene. I’m sure it wasn’t David’s aim and I’m not quite sure how he took my comment however there’s a distinct religious feel to this room. It’s not a bad thing, there’s no praying required and there’s definitely no collection plate being handed around!
The first floor rooms are very much still a work in progress and currently represent the gaudy deco from the previous occupier. However, when complete, upstairs will not only enable more bums on seats but it’s easy to imagine some seriously enjoyable sessions up there.
Beer! What about the beer?! Well, there are 10 taps that will all be pouring local beers (think greater Brisbane) for the bar’s inception. David has a stash of 20 local kegs for the launch and opening. Moving forward, Bloodhound Bar will eventually dedicate at least two taps exclusively for locally brewed beer.
The shiny new stainless steel kitchen will be concentrating on simple, flavoursome South American food and who better to pull this off than highly acclaimed Peruvian chef Gabriel Escalante-Gafau.
I’ve often wondered about naming conventions when it comes to attributing a name to a bar. Naming a bar is a big deal. It’s quite possible that there’s mileage in an entire series of blog posts on the names of bars and venues. Leave that with me. Bloodhound Bar…why? David insists that his wife, Noni, mentioned it in passing and it simply stuck – everybody involved agreed on it. Think Bloodhound as a loyal pet, personable, friendly, warm with good values and a dog is man’s best friend after all (many of my best friends are pubs).
One of David’s key intentions when instigating Bloodhound was to make this a local bar for local people. He’s nailed it and it’s very much about the beer here.
I’ve deliberately not included interior photos. You need to sniff this place out for yourself.
Keep up to date with Bloodhound Bar on Facebook.