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12 Gold Coast spots for after-work drinks

A group of women enjoying drinks at The Island Rooftop Bar (Image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
A group of women enjoying drinks at The Island Rooftop Bar (Image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

Everybody knows the best part of the working day is counting down the minutes and then snappily leaving to have after-work drinks with your friends. Ok, so this might be an exaggeration. But it has to be said; this at least happens once a week — if not more — for most people!

In honour of washing the day away with a drink, and because we live in possibly the sunniest place on earth (making it perfect for after-work drinking and drinking in general), here’s a comprehensive list of spots to frequent post 5pm.

The Island Rooftop
Another after-work tipple, another rooftop. What more could you want. The Island Rooftop is all about enjoying the good things in life; eating, drinking and having good times with friends. The fit-out is reminiscent of a laidback beach house, and it’s nearly always packed with revellers. There are eats, balmy breezes and a little bit of late-night dancing thrown in for good measure.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)
Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)

Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop Bar
Rooftop drinking is the best kind of drinking, especially with views overlooking the cityscape. Combine this with cheese platters, parmesan fries and deli meats and it’s pretty much the definition of a perfect after-work time. If you haven’t visited, expect exceptional cocktails, a solid wine and beer list, and also traditional pizzas. How good?!
Where: 43 Nerang Street, Southport

The Loose Moose
The lively, North American style bar is always a good time, after-work or otherwise. It’s low-lit and constantly filled with people having a great time. Fill up on epic burgers, loaded fries and the like while knocking back a vast array of beers and innovative cocktails that’ll tickle your after-work drinking fancy. The fun never ends at this Broadbeach fave.
Where: Oasis Shopping Centre, Surf Parade, Broadbeach

Surfers Pavilion
It doesn’t matter if you intend to stroll in here straight off your jet ski or after a long day in the office; the light-filled and airy Surfers Pavilion will make you most welcome either way. Recently launching ‘The Office Knock Off Drinks’ from 3pm on Friday’s, a cleverly crafted cocktail menu includes The Big Boss, something strong for the ‘World’s Best Boss’! with Woodford Reserve, lemon juice, a dash of maple syrup finished with a shiraz float or The Boss’ Pet for that person that does everything possible to impress the power above with Tequila, Aperol, lime and pineapple juice shaken and poured over ice.
Where: 30/34 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

The Office Knock Offs, Surfers Pavilion (image supplied)
The Office Knock Offs, Surfers Pavilion (image supplied)

Justin Lane Rooftop
Burleigh’s much-loved rooftop is Justin Lane, where pizza, pasta and frivolity are the name of the game. Of course, an afternoon sip or two is always a good idea, looking out over the ocean and with the shrill call of Rainbow Lorikeets in your ears. It’s beautifully Burleigh and an absolute must-visit for after-works sips.
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

SPEC
With a beer garden to end all beer gardens, this Miami hotbed of great local tap beers and finger-licking eats cries out for afternoons lost in conversation. Arrange your fellow colleagues/friends and muster yourselves over tacos and the freshest of ales and let the failing light out over the hinterland be a distraction as you contemplate tomorrow’s monthly performance meeting.
Where: 2176 Gold Coast Highway, Miami

Garden Kitchen Bar
Choose your adventure at The Star Gold Coast’s most after-work friendly bar. Hang out inside amongst the greenery or pull up some space outside in the actual garden under the stars. It’s the perfect place to kick back and relax after-work, nibble on some tasty eats and enjoy the vibrant casino atmosphere.
Where: Casino Drive, Broadbeach Island

Granddad Jacks (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Granddad Jack's (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Granddad Jacks
This beloved gin and whisky distillery is quite obviously the perfect after-work drinks spot, with its abundant good vibes, epic cocktails, and live music on weekends. The team are a cool bunch of cats too. Head in there if you’re into making friends with absolute legends, sharing a yarn or two and sipping on some of the very best tipples on the Gold Coast.
Where: 45 Lemana Lane, Miami 

Burleigh Brewing Co.
One of the Coast’s favourite breweries, Burleigh Brewing Co., offers a sizeable outdoor seating area, entertainment and a line-up of beers to suit every taste. They host regular events, and you’re sure to find a few new like-minded pals to hang out with. Grab as many people as possible, pull up a big table and fill it with empty schooner glasses for a guaranteed good time.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Pavilion
Obviously, oceanside drinks watching the sun go down is one of the most delightful things you can do after-work (and in general), and Burleigh Pavilion is the place to do it. On the Beach Bar side, pull up a high table and sip casual cocktails while sampling spur-of-the-moment eats or head over to The Tropic for a sit-down feast paired with more cocktails and a Prosecco or two. Perfecto.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Pavilion (image supplied)
Burleigh Pavilion (image supplied)

Moxy’s Rooftop
We’re confident the sun shines that little bit brighter on the southern end, and there’s no better place to take advantage of that fact than at this Coolangatta gem. Let ocean breezes waft away any workday stresses and have yourself a knockoff or two.
Where: 2/152 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

HOTA — Fridays on the lawn
When we have world-class, year-round weather — and an arts precinct to match — it would be a shame not to put the two together over a well-earned drink. And that’s exactly what the premise of Fridays on the Lawn is all about. Head down any Friday between 4-7pm and bask in the fading afternoon sun beside their Lawn Bar whilst local live acts help you welcome in the weekend. If you find yourself enjoying the occasion and leaving doesn’t seem like a fitting thing to do, then head on up to the exciting Exhibitionist Bar at the very top level of the newly opened Gallery building. Amazing cocktails and sublime cityscape views aplenty: the epitome of sophisticated kick-ons if ever we saw them!
Where: 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Signature Cocktails at The Exhibitionist Bar (image supplied)
Signature Cocktails at The Exhibitionist Bar (image supplied)

Granddad Jacks Distillery

In what may just be the happiest news of 2018, a gin and whiskey distillery will roll open its doors in a few short weeks and we could not be more into it.

Granddad Jacks Distillery has been in the works for what feels like four years to those of us who love both gin and whiskey a little too much. In reality it’s only been four months but the wait is almost over.

On August 24th, the industrial-style Miami distillery will open for the good folks of the Gold Coast and, it’s certainly a cause to celebrate. Found on Lemana Lane, the distillery has taken up in what used to be a mechanics workshop and the transformation is pure magic.

Father/son team and owners Dave and Luke Ridden (along with the lovely Jess) scoured the Gold Coast in search of iron beams and the like to build a space that fits perfectly in Miami’s backstreets. Steel-inspired high tables with copper stools stretch down the centre of the room and two of the coolest leather couches we’ve ever seen make for a little chill spot at one end (if they go missing forget you read this). A day bed along one wall is lined with colourful cushions and underneath a mural proclaiming ‘too busy for bullshit, too tipsy to care’ and that, friends, is our new life motto.

Above the bar, an exposed brick wall boasts a painted portrait of the man himself, Granddad Jack, whose face peers out over the whole space, keeping an eye on you and your whiskey-fuelled shenanigans. There are wine barrels placed artfully about and the cruisiest of cruisers, decked out in Granddad Jack’s signage, is parked up the back. Oh and the main affair, a huge copper still sits at the back pumping out all the tasty booze. Love you.

So who is this Granddad Jack your new favourite watering hole is named after? Well, he’s a New Zealand born lad whose hard work and sharp mind allowed him to pay a huge family debt singlehandedly at the ripe old age of 14, that’s who. Luke, his great grandson, adopted the same hard working, ‘too busy for bullshit’ attitude and here we are, just a humble beachside city with our very own distillery. What a time.

Granddad Jack’s will sell only their own styles of both gin and whiskey and they’ll have a few varieties of each including what they call a ‘navy strength’ gin that’s 58%. Gimme.

There’ll be no food available on site but, hooray, you can BYO whatever you like so it’ll be a cheese platter and gin party for us thank you very much.

The epic space is also available for events including birthdays, engagement parties and wedding receptions and there was even a secret Sofar Sounds gig there recently. So much room for activities.

Okay we’re done and so very excited. Keep August 24th free, you won’t want to miss this one.

LOCATION: 43 Lemana Lane, Miami
HOURS: 10am until midnight Wednesday to Sunday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

11 next-level Gold Coast rooftop bars

The Exhibitionist Bar (image supplied)
The Exhibitionist Bar (image supplied)

If Queensland weather doesn’t shout rooftop bars at you in a high-pitched squeal, we don’t know what will. Our climate, coupled with the amazing hospitality scene here in our city, means these open-air meccas of good times and delicious libations are the prime place to find yourself — any time of the year! It’s all about drinks in the sunshine and snapping selfies with picturesque backgrounds for Insta-bragging purposes. 

So, in honour of bars in high places, here are 11 next-level rooftop bars you should make it a priority to visit this weekend — and next weekend, and the weekend after…

The Exhibitionist Bar
When HOTA opened its brand new state of the art gallery building last year (the biggest outside a capital city, by the way), we all knew the art scene was about to go up a level or two. What we didn’t realise was that a sublimely positioned rooftop bar was a part of the deal also. The highly talented Tom Angel heads up a bar and creative cocktail list, which is a seriously good spot for a sundowner — and the ideal place to take out of towners!
Where: Level 5/135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise

Clockwise: Kingfish ceviche, Creamy coconut rice with dulche de leche and Patacones with black beans at Tropic Vice (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Clockwise: Kingfish ceviche, Creamy coconut rice with dulche de leche and Patacones with black beans at Tropic Vice (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Tropic Vice
Glitzy, glamorous, and generally a wonderful time all around, Tropic Vice was the rooftop bar Nobby Beach was yearning for, and it came to fruition in 2021. The ideal spot for a weekend catch up, a mid-week cheeky cocktail, or an epic bottomless brunch every Sunday. Do yourself a favour: find yourself here sipping a cocktail whilst drinking in the gorgeous hinterland view.
Where: 2215 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

The Island Rooftop
Find the Gold Coast’s largest open air and much-loved rooftop bar perched on top of the The Island in Surfers ParadiseThe Island Rooftop is part nightclub, part bar, part live music venue, and all the parts are a fun time no matter the day of the week. Head there for the epic weekend Grazy Days lunch or just to feel like you’re on Island time.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise

Nineteen at The Star poolside (image supplied)
Nineteen at The Star poolside (image supplied)

Nineteen at The Star
The fanciest of the bunch is undoubtedly Nineteen at The Star, complete with velvet booth-style seating, an infinity pool and ocean views for days. Found atop the The Star Gold Coast’s The Darling, Nineteen is the perfect place for people-watching, dressing up and sipping on fancy tipples while dancing the night away. Oh and be sure to take a snap on the runway that stretches out in the pool!
Where: The Darling, Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach 

Frida Sol
The Palm Beach Mexi restaurant doubles as a rooftop bar with views out to the ocean and lots of salty ocean breezes. The eats are fresh and flavoursome, and there’s many a margarita on the list to soothe that sweltering summer humidity we’re currently experiencing. Get into Frida Sol.
Where: 1176 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)
Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)

Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop Bar
A game-changer in Southport’s food and beverage scene was Mr PP’s, a deli and rooftop bar boasting city views and plenty of good vibes in the century-old postal building. There is a generous menu full of pizzas, tapas and charcuterie boards and this, folks, is the reason we love rooftop bars. Plus cocktails and local tipples, of which there are many at Mr PP’s. Live music on Sundays too.
Where: 43 Nerang St, Southport

The Collective
Everyone’s favourite multi-restaurant establishment, The Collective also boasts a sweet rooftop bar with some epic cocktails for your sipping pleasure. You can also order eats from one of the five menus on offer and watch the sunset over the ocean while you’re at it. We HIGHLY recommend.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

Justin Lane (image supplied)
Justin Lane (image supplied)

Justin Lane
A much-loved favourite and the Gold Coast’s first official rooftop bar, Justin Lane is still one of the most popular rooftop’s since it’s opening in 2011. The space is intimate with booth-style seating overlooking Burleigh and plenty of cocktails to tickle your fancy. Downstairs is all the delicious pizza you could possibly need, so fill up on that, then head upstairs to mingle with the gang.
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads

Last Night on Earth
Pretty sure that if it were, in fact, your last night on Earth, you would want to spend it at a sweet rooftop bar with bulk cocktails at the ready. Which maybe isn’t the point of Southport’s Last Night on Earth but a good intro nonetheless. Last Night on Earth is the work of local legend Arran Wollams and his crew; it’s a somewhat underworld themed rooftop bar in the heart of Southport offering good times aplenty. It’s a dive bar, but not as you know it. Check it out.
Where: 50b Nerang St, Southport 

 

Moxy's Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Moxy's Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

Moxy’s Rooftop Bar
This rooftop bar located down in southerly Coolangatta has beautiful glimpses of the ocean, lots of live music and an impressive cocktail menu that’ll keep you coming back for more. Whilst they may not do eats, you can order from the Mexican joint downstairs, and we’re fairly sure there’s nothing that pairs better than bulk cocktails and tacos. Always lively and worth the trip down the Coast.
Where: 2/152 Griffith St, Coolangatta

Aviary Rooftop Bar
Perched atop Mantra on Sharks, Aviary Rooftop Bar’s views are as stunning as their extensive drinks list. With 180 degree views over the Surfers Paradise skyline and the ocean, it’s the perfect place for an after work beverage or Sunday arvo session with the crew. Ohh and don’t even get us started on their authentic Italian pizza’s, and tapas… if you know, you know.
Where: Mantra at Sharks, Melia Ct, Southport (next to Southport Sharks)

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

8 bottomless brunches on the Gold Coast

The Tropic (image supplied)
The Tropic (image supplied)

Ahh brunch, not quite breakfast, not quite lunch and allowing us the opportunity to squeeze in a guilt-free meal between the two. BEST.

Do you know what’s even better than brunch, though? A boozy brunch. Because drinking in the morning is never a bad idea, particularly when accompanied by five-star foods from some of your fave local venues. And here they are, indulge away!

The Tropic
Everyone’s favourite ocean-view venue, Burleigh Pav offers bottomless brunch on the last Saturday of every month. Taking place specifically in The Tropic side of the space, you’ll not only get to gaze lovingly at the ocean but also indulge in some of the freshest seafood and innovative plates by imaginative Head Chef Guillaume Zika. Pair everything with bottomless NV Chandon and NV Chandon Rose for $129pp, or up the ante, and for an additional $30 you can be sipping Veuve Clicquot. Amazing. We’ll see you there every month then?
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Mimosas, Elk Espresso (image supplied)
Mimosas, Elk Espresso (image supplied)

Elk Espresso
Luckily, we have a lot of love to give because there are so many Gold Coast venues worthy of it. It goes without saying Elk Espresso is one of those that have been in our hearts from the start. And they just cemented our (and your) love for them with a bottomless offering available every day from 10am (with no booking required), where you’ll have your favourite dish paired with one hour of bottomless mimosas (classic, strawberry or lime) for just $45pp. Not to mention, the menu at Elk is always absolutely incredible, so plan ahead: wear your stretchy pants.
Where: Shop GO44, Oasis Shopping CentreBroadbeach

Miss Moneypenny’s
Ok, so it’s ‘tehcnically’ a Bottomless Lunch at Broadbeach’s Miss Moneypenny’s — but once you try it, you’ll see why we had to include them in this list! Roll up every Saturday or Sunday from 12pm to 3pm with live entertainment from 1pm (Sunday) and indulge in a three-course set menu and two-hour beverage package from $90 inclusive of selected cocktails, spritzers, bubbles, wine and beer. If you feel like getting fancy go for the Chef’s Signature Selection with seven courses and a two-hour beverage package including the above sips from $125pp. You may also upgrade both packages to include French Champagne – we are here for it.
Where: 50 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

Eggs Benedict, Dill Ocean Trout, Poached Eggs, Brown Butter Hollandaise at Nineteen at The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Eggs Benedict, Dill Ocean Trout, Poached Eggs, Brown Butter Hollandaise at Nineteen at The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

Nineteen at The Star
This sophisticated dining experience features an exquisite menu complete with Executive Chef Uday Huja’s brunch favourites, as well as highlights from the grill. Plus, you can pair your brunch with a premium two-hour champagne package while you take in the stunning views – now that’s a brunch worth getting out of bed for. It’s on every Sunday with two sittings – 11am until 1pm and 1.15pm and 3.15pm. With sweeping views overlooking the ocean and the city, it has to be one of the most stunning brunch options around.
Where: The Darling, Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

The Island Gold Coast
It’s a grazing-style lunch situation at Surfers Paradise’s beloved The Island Rooftop. Snack on a $69pp all-inclusive package with dishes like salt and pepper squid and garlic and char-grilled rosemary lamb cutlets – all delicious, obviously. To drink, there are selected tap beers, house red, white and sparkling wine, the Rooftop Spritz range, select cocktails, soft drinks, and juices all included in your package. Head in every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 2pm to get involved in this one.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

The Island Rooftop (image supplied)
The Island Rooftop (image supplied)

Mr Hizola’s
Your favourite contemporary Cantonese spot is now boasting weekend bottomless brunches, so prepare to get boozy. Available from 12pm – 4pm Saturday and Sunday (min of 2 ppl), you’ll each receive a delectable lunch bowl with choices like Kung Pao Chicken and Vegetable Spring Rolls and, more importantly, a 2-hour limitless drinks package featuring spiritizes and tap beers! It’ll set you and your guest back a very affordable $55 each.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Gods of the Sea
For ardent seafood lovers, Gods of the Sea is a solid IYKYK situation, meaning if you crave foods from the deep and haven’t checked out this place yet, where have you been? Every Saturday, book in for a 2-hour bottomless brunch anywhere between noon and 3pm for a magnificent ocean-orientated five-course degustation with the likes of pan-seared scallops and grilled swordfish. And don’t forget the boundless pouring of bubbles at your disposal. Just $89 per person! But make sure you get in before Saturday 20 November as this will be the last of their Bottomless Brunch series!
Where: 2215 Gold Coast Highway, corner of Lavarack Road, Mermaid Beach

Gods of the Sea (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Gods of the Sea (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Ally Chow
Ally Chow in Nobby Beach brings you all the Asian fusion you can fill your belly with. Our new favourite thing is the Margarita Lunch Banquet though, including all the tastiest eats plus unlimited Asahi beer, Prosecco and MARGARITAS! So yes, that’s a thing. Best of all, it’s just $99 per person — that’s pretty much your Friday through Sunday lunches sorted for the rest of the year, no? And if you’re more of a vodka gal (we all have that one time tequila got us good), the Chow Out banquet for $79 features bottomless Thai Basil Caipiroskas! Delish.
Where: Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach 

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Ally Chow (image supplied)
Ally Chow (image supplied)
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