Bringing more to Ash-more
Bringing more to Ash-more
If you’ve driven past the good ‘ole Ashmore Tavern recently, you’ll have noticed it’s looking anything but ‘ole these days. Undergoing an extreme makeover, we’re not just talking a lick of paint and a few trusty Kmart prints, but an epic $5 million reno sporting some serious a la mode flex. Anything but your stock standard ma-and-pa tav, it’s transformed Cinderella-style from satisfying to #supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Now a modern multi-space dining precinct with all the trimmings you’d expect from a nip and tuck of this stature, we’re stanning out of control for its new look and feel. There are sleek new indoor and outdoor dining spaces, a glossy new gaming room, a large sports bar and adjoining balcony, a gourmet kitchen and a fresh menu, ensuring patrons feel ‘at home’ ala Ashmore Tav 1.0, only trendier and tastier!
A local fave for nearly forty years, it just twigged that this place has been around as long as us (give or take…mostly give…), which explains why we’re all over the revamp like beer batter on a chip. Ashmore-ians will feel All.The.Feels for their new local, with a levelled-up sense of pride thanks to the schmick upgrade. Nonlocals, get in your gas-guzzlers and pop in for a feed but warning; your local pub will sadly feel somewhat underwhelming in comparison.
Expect a new colour palette with whites, muted earthy blue and grey tones, and hints of duck egg green, offset by natural timber hues. The indoor dining area features blonde wood Herringbone floors and a statement flowing wall mural with on-trend botanicals. There’s a tasteful mix of tables and seating, a mod grid-style roof, and pops of greenery. Bifold doors open to a stunning outdoor dining area, hugged by beautiful mature trees adorned in fairy lights. This is perfectly complimented by the moonstone grey and white VJ panelling in the box beam roof above the pokies area, and a special shoutout must go to the lighting choices throughout the venue. The combination of 15-bulb celestial style pendant lights, bold rattan pendants and ambient wall lighting is ‘lit’, and lighting maketh the space Every.Day.Of.The.Week.
Now you know what awaits your eyes, but what about your tastebuds? Head Chef Ben Smidt and his team are cooking up traditional tav classics, along with some fresh new eats inspired by their awesome new cooking setup. There’s nourish’d bowls, buttermilk fried chicken, and even a hangover board to reverse the damage of a big night and srsly, this just speaks to us.
We’re calling out the Tomato Arancini with pesto oil, feta, fresh herbs to start, followed by a main of Pan Fried Goldband Snapper with eggplant, funghetto, charred capsicum, mango salsa, and fresh herbs. But wait, we just spotted the Mexi Bowl with grilled chicken, jasmine rice, Mexican beans, charred corn, pico de gallo, pickled onion, jalapeno, smashed avocado, mozzarella, chipotle mayonnaise and fresh lime, and suddenly we’re the little girl on the Old El Paso ad asking “why not both?!”. Which leads us to our next conundrum; Sticky Date Pudding or Apple and Rhubarb Crumble for dessert and yep, there she is again.
So with a mix of different experiences, there’s no denying that the reinvigorated Ashmore Tavern has an exciting new lease on life. Whether you’re vibing a few bevs with the crew, a family-friendly feed, or an event venue guaranteed to put smiles on dials, this is the place bringing more to Ash-more.
Where: 161 Cotlew Street, Ashmore
When: 10am – 3:30am Sunday – Wednesday & 10am – 5am Thursday – Saturday
Words by Bianca Trathen.
Images by Brittany Kreskas.
STORY SPONSORED BY ASHMORE TAVERN
Iconic venues of yesteryear are the hallmarks of the Gold Coast. Many have disappeared and are but memories of sun-drenched times, but a few remain and have been tastefully brought into the 21st century. The recent reopening of the Mermaid Beach Tavern fits perfectly into this latter ideal, and from the peek we had inside at their fit-out and their food and drink menu, it’s safe to say, you should be excited.
Now, if you ask anyone about the history of the Mermaid Tavern, you’ll likely receive some smiles, and some affirmations of how it was once the place to be for a kids party when it was a McDonald’s or for general great times when it crossed over to being a tavern in the 90s. Certainly a case of: if you were there, then, you know! Well, don’t despair and think all of the best times have been had, because after a lengthy renovation over the last two years, an all-new and upgraded Mermaid Beach Tavern has finally opened its doors to the public.
Here is what you can expect inside.
Upon entry from the Gold Coast Highway, you are met by light spilling in from gaping overhead skylights in two rooms that shoot off to the left and right of the entrance. These are known as The Pods and provide comfortable high tables and banquet-style seating for big and small groups to chat over drinks or tuck into some food. Neutral tones, light wood hues and hanging green plants all add to the modern yet tranquil feel. We’re also told these high ceiling rooms can be completely shut off and will be available for private hire and functions into the future — so we think it’s about time to start thinking of those events you need to celebrate!
Into the main bar area, you’ll see another source of light spilling in from above, except this time the ceiling is entirely open, meaning the bar area feels as al fresco as possible whilst remaining inside. Look, the Gold Coast isn’t averse to a spot of rain from time to time, but you needn’t worry as it is fully retractable — but with over 300 days of sunshine a year, we expect this to be open majority of the time!
An airy and nicely spaced-out dining/bistro area follows on with the bonus of a slightly removed and sealed-off children’s playroom. For those with little ones, this will undoubtedly be music to your ears, meaning you can enjoy your hard-earned glass of vino or beer whilst the little ones run themselves ragged with their newly made friends.
Did we mention all of this is just the street level? If you take a wander downstairs, you’ll find an elegantly fitted out gaming lounge with its own cute bar and a fully devoted sports bar with enough large screens in there to cover any given sport any day of the week.
And last but by no means least, there is a north-facing decked terrace area to the very rear of the venue, which has shading but also enjoys sun for much of the day.
To put it simply, you have a few different options of how to spend your time at the Tavern.
The venue wants to make everyone feel welcome no matter what time of the day it is and serves food and drinks from 11.30am every day. As you would expect, the well-stocked bar is doing a wide array of cold beers, including some Gold Coast favourites.
The wine list has enough styles to cater for all tastes, and a cocktail list with a strong repertoire of classics — featuring an Espresso Martini (our favourite), a Mojito, and the cult-favourite Aperol Spritz — which are sure to walk out the door on a warm day.
On the food side of things, the offering is diverse, ranging from starters and salads to pizzas (all under $20) and a grill menu. You’ll discover familiar flavours (Chicken Parmi’s and standard pub fare) beside eye-catching dishes like beer battered Bug Tacos, a Beef Stracotto pasta and a Black & Blue Salad featuring charred sirloin steak and gorgonzola. We also think the Chilli Crab Linguine with blue swimmer crab meat, chilli, garlic, white wine, tomato, extra virgin olive oil, rocket and lemon will become a crowd favourite.
There’s also a sensibly priced kids menu (all choices are just $10 and include ice cream) and a dessert menu for the big kids featuring a Dropped Ice Cream Cone you simply cannot help but order…
Where: 2500 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
When: Every day, 10am — late
Food service: Mon-Thurs: 11.30am-3pm and 5.30pm-9pm | Fri & Sat: 11.30am-10pm | Sun 11.30am-9pm
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
It has been quite some time since we’ve brought news of a café opening on the Gold Coast but here we are with exactly that. Which makes us very happy.
Bonnie’s Industrial Café is the first cab off the rank post being homebound for what felt like a billion years and so, here’s the lowdown on the newbie you should absolutely pop into ASAP.
Found in yes, the industrial area out Ashmore way, Bonnie’s is serving up some absolutely delicious eats and as you’d expect in this day and age, they deliver said delicious eats to a few areas around the place in case you’re still not keen on leaving the house.
Tucked away on Expo Court, the café fits in perfectly with it’s surround featuring a space set with a high bench table, plenty of greenery throughout and steel barrels laden with flowers. At the front, there’s an undercover outdoor eating area that gets plenty of sunshine so you can take five out there and watch the world go by.
While you eat all of the things of course. What kind of things you ask? Well friends, cafe-style things but done extra well.
For example; a burger with the lot on a 100% butter brioche bun, a Roasted Roll of the Day with 14-hour slow cooked meat on a brioche sub with mustard, cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion (YUM) or for breakfast, a Maple Bacon Hash Stack with hash browns (love you), smashed avo, rocket, maple bacon, poached eggs and Hollandaise.
All absolutely next-level.
You may also indulge in a mixed plate with your choice of 14-hour slow cooked meat (seasoned chicken, rosemary lamb or honey mustard beef) plus a salad and chips for just $14.90. The goods.
Of course, there are fresh salads and rolls to-go plus fried things like chicken tenders, potato scallops, fish and calamari.
If you’re popping in for a morning brew you’ll be sipping Cr8ive Coffee fresh out of Nerang and owned by a local family.
Owner Bonnie (obvs) moved to the Gold Coast from Melbourne chasing the warm weather with many years hospitality ownership under her belt to deliver us something very, very good that we will absolutely be returning to as often as possible.
Hooray for new venues doing epic things.
LOCATION: 2/26 Expo Court, Ashmore
HOURS: Monday to Friday 6am until 3pm
Words and photos by Kirra Smith