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Finn McCools

There can never be too many Irish things in the world if you ask us, people, accents, beers, bars, keep them all coming, all day long please.

Which is why it brings us great pleasure to report on the opening of Finn McCools, an Irish bar that swung open its’ doors in Surfers Paradise late last month.

Taking up space where the Coast’s beloved Fiddlers Green once lived, Finn McCools is keeping the Irish tradition alive on Cavill Ave bringing hearty eats and a pint of Guinness or two to the people.

The legend goes that Finn McCool was a mythical giant, hunter and warrior who battled a Scottish giant defeating him with cunning trickery. It is said Finn McCool now sleeps in a cave beneath Dublin ready to one day defend Ireland in the hour of her greatest need. The luck of the Irish hey.

The space earned itself a whopping $2 million makeover when Hallmark took the reigns and began the process of transforming the venue into a space not unlike their Brisbane haunt.

A huge bar runs down the left hand side of the space, with a stunning stained glass feature overhead, high tables take up the front section of the space while booth seating is an option along the opposite wall and in the upstairs section, overlooking the crowds. Huge TV screens broadcast all of the sports you could ever hope for and the general good vibes Irish bars are known for, are certainly evident here too.

It’s all dark greens and wooden furniture with Irish sayings and vintage signage plastered all over the walls plus, of course, plants dotted throughout to complete the picture.

Food-wise you can expect all the Irish favourites you’ve come to know and love including Beef and Guinness Pie, Chicken Curry, Pork and Cabbage and an all day Irish Breakfast. It’s all flavour-filled and nourishing and there definitely won’t be any going home hungry here.

Of course, you can also indulge in pub favourites like Chicken Parmi, Battered Fish, burgers and steaks.

There are daily meal offers and we highly suggest you get involved in that. Monday is steak night with a rump for $11.90 and a rib fillet for $17.90. Tuesday is $3 taco day, Wednesday grab yourself some 50 cent chicken wings, Thursday is $11.90 chicken parmy night and Sunday is, of course, roast night for just $12 including roast meat, potatoes and veggies and Yorkshire pudding with gravy. It’s the goods.

There’ll also be live music on Sunday afternoons so good times aplenty friends.

To be sure.

LOCATION: 39 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
PHONE: 07 5629 0722
HOURS: Open daily from 11am until late
WEBSITE: https://www.finnmccools.com.au/

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Milky Lane

If you thought the Coast’s burger game was strong prior to today, think again. Sydney born Milky Lane has landed and the stakes have well and truly been raised.

Bringing their signature stacked burgers with cheese oozing over the sides and almost at the point of toppling over, not to mention next-level cocktails and desserts that’ll make your eyes water, Milky Lane is all your indulgent eating fantasies come true.

Cheat day/week/life come at us.

But first, let’s talk interiors because this is a place you’ll want to charge your phone for. With velvet booth seating, walls adorned with graffiti-style portraits of all your favourite rappers (#eminemforpresident) and dark, underground club vibes accentuated by neon strip lights, a good time is the name of the game.

The bar, in the centre of the space, is the main attraction because a. it’s the bar and b. the people behind it are quite adept at fancy cocktail slinging. You can even sit there and gaze at them lovingly while they prep your drinks if you so desire.

Speaking of cocktails, we would highly recommend sampling a Bueno which consists of Bacardi Carta Blanco, Frangelico, Mozart, Chocolate Liqueur and vanilla cream which is then topped with hazelnut foam and a Bueno bar. Yes indeed.

Alternatively (or as well) hit up the Lamington Martini made up of 1800 Coconut Tequila (love you), Mozart White Chocolate Liqueur, coconut cream, regular cream and topped with coconut foam and a mini lamington. Help us.

Food-wise, the burgers are not only extremely extra, they are also named after celebrities who may or may not have had their day.

The Chic-Kanye is southern fried crispy chicken, maple smoked bacon, American cheese, Carolina slaw, butter leaf lettuce, ML special sauce, BBQ sauce and jalapeno pineapple relish. So all of the things.

The Kevin Bacon is a double Wagyu beef patty, double American cheese, double maple smoked bacon, ML BBQ sauce, ML truffle aioli, caramelized onion and pickles.

Sides are always a good idea of course and even more so are Milky Lanes’ loaded fries which are beer battered and topped with bacon bits, cheesy gravy, shallots and ML special sauce.

There are also Mac & Cheese Croquettes and those are something we could eat every day for the rest of our lives.

Desserts are a whole other story (but not because here we are). We actually don’t want to give too much away but definitely order the Snicki Minaj because it involves things such as Nutella, pastries and salted caramel.

The milkshakes are just as ridiculous as everything else in all your favourite flavours and with alcohol as an optional added extra.

We know what you’re thinking, is there nothing this place won’t do. Yah, salad.

LOCATION: 38 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
HOURS: From 12pm until late, seven days

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

White Rhino

Happy days have arrived in Surfers Paradise and they come in the form of a sleek new, double-storey corner space that’s bringing all your Jumanji dreams to life. Except pretty and not at all terrifying.

White Rhino is complete and will open its’ doors to us, the food and beverage loving people of the Gold Coast, late next week and Surfers is set for a little shakeup friends.

There’s a lot to unpack here so buckle up and let’s get into it. As mentioned, White Rhino is an expansive corner space on Cavill Ave and it’s all open and airy and filled with quirky little delights.

Let’s begin with the bar, because, obviously. Lit from behind with a digital ocean montage, it’s quite the mesmerizing sight. Above, a rock formation complete with its’ very own waterfall sets the scene.

Drawing your eyes around the room, you’ll notice a tree, smack bang in the middle of the venue, a stunning wrought iron staircase winding it’s way to the top floor (as staircases tend to do) and, tucked in behind it, are the stars of the show; the white rhino and her (could be his) baby. The pair are meticulously crafted really quite ah, realistic. Love them.

A step up above the casual bar section you’ll find a slightly more formal dining area artfully decorated with velvet and high gloss wood plus, our favourite, two booth-style arrangements with leafy green backdrops and bulk people watching opportunities.

Upstairs, on the mezzanine level, there are three stunning velvet booths overlooking the rest of the venue and out into the street, perfect for gathering the crew and enjoying a slightly more private style of party.

The entire venue has been crafted with an outdoor feel in mind and indeed, no matter where you are, the open space and seamless transition to the actual outdoor section gives a balmy, can-it-be-summer-already vibe.

Now to the food. It comes courtesy of someone you know and love, Adam Dundas-Taylor of Firecue, London’s Nobu and many other fine establishments, obviously.

The menu offers both a fine and casual style of dining and it is all of exceptional quality and even better taste, as you would expect.

The Spiced Pumpkin Salad is a colour-filled treat with chilli and fennel roasted pumpkin tossed in baby spinach leaves with cous cous, pomegranate seeds mint and hummus. It’s both beautiful and delicious.

The Chilli Bug Linguini is also a must-try with chilli and garlic Moreton Bay bugs with sweet cherry tomatoes tossed in brandy and seafood stock reduction and served with fresh linguini. Oh yes please.

Let us not go past the Slow Cooked Beef Ragu (12 hours slow cooked no less) stirred through a rich tomato sauce, tossed with fettuccine and topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese (love you always Parmesan).

There are also epic pizzas and options from the grill like Crispy Skin New Zealand King Ora Salmon and Peppercorn Cut Eye Fillet. YUM.

The cocktails are to die for (but don’t die, because there are many to be sampled) including an extremely tasty Espresso Martini made with beans from our faves Locale Espresso.

An exceptional breakfast menu will also roll out from Saturday the 3rd of November.

The unique venue is certain to take Surfers Paradise to a whole new level and, with a few more exciting additions on the way, you might want to rearrange your life to include a little more time there.

White Rhino officially opens on Friday November 2nd and prepare for a summer of fun friends.

LOCATION: 55 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise
HOURS: 11.30pm until late

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

11 spots to grab a beer on the Gold Coast

Fortitude Brewing Co. (image supplied)
Fortitude Brewing Co. (image supplied)

How good is an icy cold beer on a balmy afternoon? Heck, or any afternoon for that matter. Especially right here on the Gold Coast, where not only are we blessed with copious amounts of year-round sunshine, but an increasing array of talented breweries and equally impressive spots to take a load off and enjoy their hard work.

Although the possibilities for lavishing yourself with a great beer are endless, here’s our whittled down top 11 spots (listed north to south) to grab a brew on any (post-lockdown) afternoon you please! Cheers to that.

Fortitude Brewing Company
Fortitude Brewing Company is special because they brew under not one but two names. Fortitude for the dependable beers you enjoy with mates and Noisy Minor for the loud beers we all love now and again. Due to brewing excellent beers, it’s Tamborine Mountain’s best spot for a Sunday sesh. Enjoy hot gourmet pizzas and one of their 14 icy-cold beers while you listen to the live band on the patio.
Beer to sip: Fortitude Pacer — the perfect session pale ale.
Where: 165 Long Rd, North Tamborine

BOBs Beer (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
BOBs Beer (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

BOB’s Beer
The newest beer stop of the bunch is BOB’s Beer. This highly anticipated first microbrewery in Surfers Paradise opened with an impressive range of beers on tap and an incredible menu filled with bites you might not expect. Positioned on a corner block means there’s also plenty of window seating for watching the world go by outside. Talented (former) Melbourne brewer Ryan Fullerton and his team have created inhouse a lager, IPA, XPA and a Saison among six others, all available on tap (plus six guest taps from around Australia and NZ).
Beer to sip: Turmenator, a brut IPA that’s dry, spicy and tropical with hints of fresh tumeric root and saffron.
Where: 10/2 Elkhorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise

House of Brews
The name says it all. House of Brews has a whopping 32 beers on tap! In fact, they have so many kegs, they’ve even got a ‘keg room display’. If you aren’t a beer lover (sacrilege), there’s every chance if you still head to House of Brews, they’ll make a beer lover out of you. The food menu is inspired by traditional American BBQ so grab yourself some sticky ribs and maybe an Onion Ring Volcano tower. You’ll be one ever so happy afternoon beer drinker.
Beer to sip: Huge selection! Try something — left of centre — from North America if you can.
Where: 17 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Bine Bar & Dining beer (image supplied)
Bine Bar & Dining beer (image supplied)

Bine Bar & Dining
The Gold Coast’s first craft beer bar, Bine, is adored by locals and packed to the brim every single weekend (and often throughout the week). Serving over 100 bottled beers and with eight rotating taps, the folks at Bine know their brews. Not to mention there are food specials daily, including regular 50 cent chicken wings specials every weekday evening! Wash those down with a beer or two, and that’s an excellent way to pass some time by anyone’s standard.
Beer to sip: Something local like Currumbin Valley Brewery.
Where: 1/28 Chairlift Avenue, Nobby Beach

Lost Palms Brewing Co.
The baby of the Gold Coast’s brewery bunch, Lost Palms joined us just four years ago, all bright pink and pretty and with a unique selection of very delicious beers on offer. Currently, you’ll find a Hibiscus and Guava sour and American style mango and passionfruit wheat ale. And if you feel like something a little different and looking after the rig, they’ve even knocked up a peach seltzer brewed from grain and coming in at a marginal 80 calories a serving — that’s just a 25-minute stroll on the treadmill, by the way. They also have a small share-style menu and a basketball hoop so you can both feast and play while you sip.
Beer to sip: Lost Palms Hibiscus & Guava Sour — a sour tropical lolly in a glass.
Where: 11 Oak Avenue, Miami

Precinct Brewing Co. entrance (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Precinct Brewing Co. entrance (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Precinct Brewing
Bursting onto the Miami arts precinct scene with a rapacious welcome, Precinct Brewing has quickly made itself a solid status as a place to grab a freshly made beer, pull up a stool and forget all of life’s woes. They make matters much more bearable with the tastiest of pizzas, stand-up comedy, and some captivating, limited releases like their recent Lime & Chilli Lager and Manuka Smoked Pilsner — yummy!
Beer to sip: Check out their weekly Friday releases for exclusive flavours!
Where: 17 Christine Avenue, Miami

If robust and deep flavoured ales get your heart rate rising, you have to try out Black Hops newest foray into brewing beer. Located a hop, skip and jump away from Black Hops HQ, this new — hidden in plain sight — stylish bar will take your tastebuds on an odyssey with imaginative barrel-aged beers. Ex gin, wine, and whisky barrels from worldwide have been sourced to help produce the Gold Coast’s most inventive brews with some serious ABVS to match. Not for the faint of heart, but nevertheless some seriously great drinking to be had.
Beer to sip: AWOL Rebellion Stout — imperial stout aged in used Tasmanian whisky barrels: delish.
Where: 4 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads

Black Hops beer (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Black Hops beer (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

Black Hops Brewing
What do you get when you mix three mates, a passion for beer and a little know-how? Damn good beer. That’s the story behind Black Hops who have three brewery/taproom sites across Burleigh Heads, Biggera Waters and Brisbane. The boys have worked super hard to build a solid reputation for themselves not just here on the Gold Coast but nationally with multiple awards and trade recognitions. Their original easy-going taproom tucked away in Burleigh Heads is the perfect watering hole when the mercury starts to rise.
Beer to sip: Black Hops Send It Session Ale — light, fruity, and not too strong.
Where: 15 Gardenia Grove, Burleigh Heads and 14 665 Pine Ridge Road, Biggera Waters

Burleigh Brewing Co.
One of the unprecedented and best brewers on the Coast, husband and wife team Brennan and Peta Fielding opened Burleigh Brewing Co. to rave reviews, and it’s been onwards and upwards ever since. The brewery is spacious with lots of outdoor seating and always filled with revellers having an absolute time. When they’re not throwing big events, be sure to slip in for an exceptional selection of craft beers, all of which we’re big fans of.
Beer to sip: Burleigh Brewing Burleigh Bighead — No carb, no-fuss big flavoured thirst quencher.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads

Balter Brewing Company (image supplied)
Balter Brewing Company (image supplied)

Balter Brewing Company
When a gang of pro surfers came together and created an award-winning brewery, Australia sat up and paid attention. And although the original owners may have parted ways with their baby, the beer is still on point, and it’s still the perfect spot to enjoy a few brews with the crew. There’s a sweet outdoor area where the kiddies can run about and weekly food trucks with live music in the evenings. Too hard not to love this spot: plenty of tasty frothies to sample.
Beer to sip: Balter XPA — Balter’s most awarded beer can be yours fresh from the production line.
Where: 14 Traders Way, Currumbin Waters

Craft House Bar & Restaurant
Craft House has the Tugun beer-drinking scene covered with 20 Australian craft beers on tap at any given time. When one tap runs dry, they swap it out for a completely different kind, meaning you can go there often and experience something new. And if you feel like trying as many as possible, you must do one of their tasting paddles. Not to mention their food menu is pretty all-time with share plates aplenty, meaning you might nip in for a quick one but end up staying a little longer.
Beer to sip: Lots of choices — try something you’ve never had before.
Where: 445 Golden Four Drive, Tugun

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Craft House Restaurant & Bar (Image: © 2018 Inside Gold Coast)
Craft House Restaurant & Bar (Image: © 2018 Inside Gold Coast)
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