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Get buzzed at Tugun’s new espresso bar and barber

It’s been a minute since we delivered news out of Tugun but here we all are with exactly that. And it’s good news too Gold Coasters.

You may have seen a bit of movement along Golden Four Drive of late and it’s all come together in the form of a sweet new space known as Made. It’s a barber and a specialty espresso bar rolled into one and it’s the perfect spot to stop in for an exceptional coffee and some baked goods, plus of course, a haircut if you’re a man in the market.

Made is the work of a couple of passionate locals; Brit Westcott and Josh Blair, who brought their combined passions together to create something we haven’t before seen on the Coast. Obviously the concept is a good one and with Josh on the tools pouring coffees and building the space and Brit behind the chair snipping hair, it works like a dream.

Brit has over 15 years experience as a barber and Josh has the same as a carpenter, so it was a no brainer that they would set up shop combining all the things.

At the front of Made you’ll find the coffee bar and you have a choice of everything from Moonshine coffee (LOVE) to Grounded Pleasures Chai (also love), teas, turmeric and Matcha lattes and cold press juices.

To eat, there are baked goods from the best at Fuel Bakehouse and obviously, you should sample one of everything.

Two barber chairs can be found at the back and it’s best you make an appointment with Brit, though walk-ins are possible should you need an emergency fade before an arvo on the beers with the boys at Burleigh Pav.

There are big communal tables, bench seats out the front and the space is dotted with greenery. It’s modern and cosy and we see a lot of it in our future.

What’s not to love right?

Head on down to Tugun to give Brit and Josh some love and then go for a stroll on the beach why don’t you.

What a time to be alive.

LOCATION: 2B/417 Golden Four Drive, Tugun
HOURS: Open from 6am daily

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

9 reasons locals love Tugun

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

Many would have considered this unassuming suburb as just somewhere you zipped through on your way to the airport a few years ago, but oh my, how things have changed. Now, overflowing with the kind of beachside village vibes that are highly sought after these days — and a decent collection of cafes, eateries and other reasons to part with your hard-earned cash — Tugun has well and truly come into its own. And we think you deserve to be in on this action.

So, whether you live near or far, we encourage you to give this locale some devoted time. To assist you in doing this, our gathering of reasons locals love Tugun should be more than enough incentive to make your way to this quiet and much-loved corner of our Coast.

Craft House Restaurant & Bar
Beer is the star attraction at the Craft House — the reason being there are a whopping 20 on tap. You’ll find a kaleidoscope of beer variety at your fingertips, with some exciting and not so often found guest ales displaying interesting flavours and sizeable ABVs! The relaxed pub atmosphere is the perfect spot to while away an evening with live music and great share style plates.
Where: 445 Golden Four Drive, Tugun

Niche & Co
If you’re a fan of acai bowls in any shape or form, then we implore you to take a visit to this oh-so-cute hole-in-the-wall-style café. We don’t mind saying it — these guys dish up some of the best bowls on the Coast. Period. Not just this, the precious little space boasts healthy and delicious meals, cold press coffee, raw and vegan treats. Get in there for good vibes and Insta-opportunities stat.
Where: Shop 4/449 Golden Four Drive, Tugun

Niche & Co Poached Eggs (image supplied)
Niche & Co Poached Eggs (image supplied)

Good Day Coffee
It’s always a good day when you’ve got a Good Day Coffee in your hand! Starting out as the prime pit-stop-grab-coffee and go kind of spot, locals now flock habitually here to caffeinate themselves for a big day ahead. You can expect all of the lip-licking goods — particularly their toasted-to-perfection toasties and one-of-a-kind Bacon & Egg Smashes — if you know, you know.
Where: 2/476 Gold Coast Highway, Tugun

Found Furniture
If vintage furniture and funky interiors are your things (and we know they are), look no further than Found. They specialise in imported Danish and mid-century furniture as well as one-off collectables and some contemporary homewares thrown in for good measure. We say pop in if you’re in the market for a piece that’s certain to make you the envy of all your friends.
Where: Shop 2, 471 Golden Four Drive, Tugun

House of Hubert
Sustainable, seasonable and farm to fork are words that usually describe a restaurant that produces culinary gold — and House of Hubert is no exception. Chefs take only the best local produce to create nourishing, tasty eats that are an absolute must-try. When it comes to coffee, they consistently pour the goods —always served with a smile. And as for the space, it kind of feels like home (but with better food).
Where: 5 Toolona Street, Tugun

Tugun mural, Tugun Fruit Market (image supplied)
Tugun mural, Tugun Fruit Market (image supplied)

The Welcome to the Gold Coast mural
Mural art is finding itself a steadily growing home here on the Gold Coast. Iconic pieces are helping nurture an identity beyond theme parks and beaches — and we’re all here for it. Renowned creative and mural artist Kiel Tillman is behind this wonderous heaven-sent artwork on the side of Tugun Supermarket. His skills have created a bold and iconic piece: greeting tourists arriving from the airport and something the locals are proud of.
Where: Tugun Fruit Market, Gold Coast Highway, Tugun

Made Barber & Barista
Finding a great cup of joe beyond noon can sometimes be an impossible feat. Well, no more. Find yourself in Tugun and Made Barber & Barista is the place to pop into up until 3pm on weekdays for a guaranteed stellar cup of jitter juice and a chance to catch your breath. Being a barbershop set up as well, if you’re a guy out there who feels like their hair needs some love, then you’ve found the best place to receive it. Let the talented Britt do her magic on your locks — you won’t look back!
Where: 2B/417 Golden Four Drive, Tugun

Made Barber Barista (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Made Barber Barista (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Tugun Fruit & Flowers
If you’re yet to experience the sensory extravaganza that is Tugun Fruit & Flowers, you might want to rectify that quick smart my friend. The space has been making Tugun smell pretty since 1975 by offering the very best in beautiful flower arrangements along with a plethora of fresh juices, acai bowls, and other gift-style goods you will simply want to get your hands on.
Where: 4/467 Golden Four Drive, Tugun

Sticky Rice
First things first — when you decide to visit this den of divine food, we suggest you book a table. It’s so popular should you walk in and expect a table, you are likely going to be sorely disappointed. The Thai menu offers all the classics but with an ever-so-slight Australian twist, meaning all the authentic, fresh fragrant flavours are there along with local ingredients and plentiful servings. One aspect you shouldn’t overlook at this venue is their capacity to make first-rate cocktails. A Thai restaurant that makes terrific cocktails?! Yes, we know — must try!
Where: Shop 7, 443 Golden Four Drive, Tugun

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Sticky Rice (Image: © 2018 Inside Gold Coast)
Sticky Rice (Image: © 2018 Inside Gold Coast)

A spicy new taqueria and tequila bar opens in Tugun

If we were asked to name some of the world’s most-loved culinary combinations, tacos and tequila would be at the very top of that list. Well pretty much any Mexi-eats and all of the salty, mouthwatering margaritas we can get our hands on, to be specific.

Luckily, we have once again been blessed with our foodie dreams coming true thanks to a brand new Mexican eatery and tequila bar by the name of Caracara Cantina.

The newbie opened last week in the space that was formerly home to Hidden Wine Bar and Café and it’s the work of two people who gave us beloved Burleigh bar, Lockwood. Brenden Yeo and Zac Wright opened the secretive speakeasy almost exactly two years ago and now they’ve launched an equally impressive space into the Tugun dining scene.

Caracara is made up of two sections – the first, at the front, is a sweet shade of peach with white wooden tables and cactuses of all shapes and sizes strewn throughout. Perfection.

At the back, the tequila bar is moody and lowlit bringing the Lockwood vibes we know and love with quite the impressive array of tequila stacked on bar shelves. Both high tables and corner spaces are made for intimate, late-into-the-night chats soaked with quality tequila. The best kind.

The menu starts with tasty, flavour-packed dishes like Spiced Bean Dip, Padron Pepper, Ceviche and Charred Corn Cob and each is an absolute must-try.

Moving onto tacos, they’re the authentic, charred, melt-in-your-mouth variety with options like Spiced Pumpkin, Caracara beans, Pulled Pork or Fish and we recommend eating at least one of each, they’re all that good.

Of course, there’s a Giant Burrito and a Roasted Sweet Potato Salad made up of a whole, oven-baked sweet potato and topped with a fresh herb and chilli salad, corn salsa and salsa verde. Much delight.

As you’d imagine (having no doubt visited Lockwood many a time), the cocktail list is a special one with five margarita varieties including the Classic, Breakfast, Tommy’s, Chilli and Coconut.

There’s also a couple of tipples that include both tequila and lager and we’re obviously big fans of those.

If you’re keen to get involved in both tacos and tequila tastings, we suggest a Mexi-feast at the front (accompanied by a margie or two to warm you up), then an after-party in the back bar where the good times will definitely be rolling.

It’s happy days for Tugun Gold Coasters, Caracara is going to be an absolute hit.

LOCATION: 455 Golden Four Drive, Tugun
HOURS: Open 5pm until late Wednesday to Saturday and midday until late Sunday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Cornerstone Stores

If there was one thing we Gold Coasters lacked, it was a walk-in cheese room found inside a store that also sells wine and olives and next door to four more beautifully curated retail spaces that literally sell all of your (our) favourite things plus the prettiest of eateries. Okay so we lacked a few things but NOT ANYMORE friends.

Cornerstone Stores opened in Currumbin over the weekend and good luck not emptying your wallet there on a regular basis. The bold brick building has taken up residence on the corner of the Gold Coast Highway and Farrell Drive and it is the actual perfect visual representation of all our dreams come true.

It’s tough to know where to start but the beginning usually works so allow us to walk you through the space.

Quince Fromagerie – Food
First up on the left is the new love of our lives, Quince Fromagerie which, as mentioned is home to the walk in cheese room (and coldest place on the Coast right now) plus an absolute next-level selection of wines, locally produced gin, olives, crackers, meats, sauces, you name it. BRB, moving in.

Prae Store – Retail
Next door is Prae Store and it is actually a gift from the Gods. Inside you’ll find the most aesthetically pleasing activewear from the likes of PE Nation and First Base, all the best organic skincare brands, crystals, natural perfumes, cookbooks, jewellery, candles and various other things that will make your life better and also prettier.

Zanzi Hairdressing – Beauty
Moving along we’ve got Zanzi Hairdressing, which is what we’d like our house to look like please. PLUS everything used inside is eco-friendly, there are no magazines (iPads instead – hi 2018), products are organic and the space is beaming out all the super chill vibes.

Borrowed Nursery – Retail
To the right is our beloved Borrowed Nursery and a room filled with greenery. Huge ceramic pots are scattered around the dewy space, a selection of smaller plants run through the middle and shelves stacked with flowing ferns, ceramic homewares, candles and woven lampshades complete the most beautiful of pictures.

Kind Curations – Retail
Continuing on we’ve got Kind Curations, a collection of unique brands the likes of which the Coast has never seen before. And wow are they something. Floaty fashion, ceramics, glassware, candles, stunning women’s magazines, beach umbrellas and eyewear make up the perfectly put together store and if you’re after the perfect gift for your lady loves, look no further.

Little Loves Studio – Retail
Last but certainly not least in the retail department is Little Loves Studio which is definitely what we would call a children and babywear goodies store if we had any business sense whatsoever. Little Loves (so good) is filled with tiny clothing cooler than anything you or I could ever wear, as well as beautiful books and toys to keep forever. We don’t even have babies and want to buy everything.

Stable Coffee Kitchen – Food
Last but not least, on the ground floor, is Stable Coffee Kitchen and you may as well move to Currumbin so this place can be your new local because it is gooooooood.

It’s made up of concrete benches offset by rustic red brick walls, blonde timber seating, an artistic masterpiece by local legend Claudio Kirac and a blush coloured marble table in the centre which was quite obviously put there for Insta-snap opportunities. Everything from the pink and navy takeaway cups to the Stable branded ceramics are pure perfection and the best part is, as a café, they serve food too. Shocking.

Open for breakfast and lunch, the emphasis is on real, good-for-you foods with plenty of love thrown in for good measure. We sampled the Folded Buckwheat Crepe with lemon ricotta, fermented rose honey, seasonal fruit and pistachio and the Sourdough of Valley Tomatoes and Avocado. They obviously looked and tasted as delightful as they sound. You can also pop in for a takeaway salad, of which there are five choices, made fresh daily. Good luck eating anywhere else ever again.

 

So who dreamed up this magical space? A local family who have lived in the Currumbin area for three generations that’s who. Renee Honey and her husband Ben run Stable, Renee’s mum Kath is the angel behind the fromagerie and brother Luke and his partner Bec created Prae Store.

The delightful family who are extremely passionate about the place we all call home, dreamed up Cornerstones after visiting cities and exploring cool laneways and boutiques and wishing there was something more cultural, intimate and with real substance closer to the Coast.

And after reading that story you can tell we’re very happy they did.

As will you be the minute you set foot inside the bustling little hub that has transformed Currumbin in only a matter of days.

Oh and forgot to mention there’s a big old grassy area where the kiddies (or adults if it’s that kind of day) can run around and have a play.

We’re in love and you will be too.

The end.

LOCATION: 570 Gold Coast Hwy, Currumbin
HOURS: Stores open 9am to 4pm daily and Stable Coffee Kitchen opens from 7am to 4pm daily

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

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