See inside the freshly renovated space.
See inside the freshly renovated space.
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’s the destination we all know and love. Relaxed, a little bit retro and constantly surprising us with new places to eat and play. It’s the much-loved suburb that flies under the radar when visitors come to town but to locals, it’s pure magic.
To show our love for this beachside beauty, here are ten things we locals love about Mermaid Beach.
The North Room
Recent receivers of a very prestigious hat, The North Room is an intimate restaurant serving up some absolutely stunning contemporary dishes that you’ll want to wrap your mouth around ASAP. Bookings are essential and they open for lunch Friday and Saturday and dinner Thursday to Saturday so you’ll want to get in quick. Huge fans of this place.
Where: 1/2527 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
There’s a lot to be said about infusing a space with tropical, feel-good vibes and Little Mermaid, on the highway, has done exactly that. Decked out with plenty of greenery, a laidback beachy feel, and tons of space for all your friends this is the place to be. The bar and restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which more often than not, is overflowing with folks having the time of their lives as the sun goes down. Little Mermaid has earned the love of locals for their tasty eats, creative cocktails, and generally cool aesthetic – so get there now.
Where: 2557 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
The Borrowed Nursery
Never before has a plant nursery gained such a cult-like following so quickly (or perhaps ever). The Borrowed Nursery draws plant lovers and photographers in droves due to its Instagram-worthy aesthetics and bespoke greenery. While you can certainly purchase the potted petals for your humble abode, you may also like to hire them for an event (which is quite the concept if you ask us). The stunning space also hosts workshops and yoga classes amongst the leafy greens but if that’s not your jam at least pop in for some healthy retail therapy and an Insta-snap.
Where: 42-44 Cronulla Ave, Mermaid Beach
Italian food is one of life’s greatest pleasures and particularly when it comes from Mermaid’s Lupo. Tucked away in the little complex that’s also home to Bonita Bonita, Lupo’s menu is one you’ll never forget. It’s a quiet, laidback space, low-lit & moody, and did we mention one of the very best spots for drinking incredible cocktails and filling your belly with goodness.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
This is one for the fellas… Zeppelin Barbers is the best on the Coast if the man in your life is looking for a fresh cut. Jase and the team are absolute weapons with the scissors and they deliver quality chat and a frosty beer while they’re at it. Good vibes always.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Mermaid Beach Surf Club
How good are surf clubs? Mermaid’s is right on the ocean with uninterrupted views, delicious meals that will fill you right up, and of course, a sweet selection of drinks to sip on. It’s an amazing spot to watch the sun go down with the crew and always provides a quality atmosphere with a buzz of people.
Where: 172 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach
It only opened recently but already Soak Bathhouse has become a firm favourite amongst those who are a little bit partial to some rest and relaxation in a beautiful environment (so everyone). It’s a stunning oasis featuring a magnesium pool, massage rooms, a sauna, spas, and a cold plunge pool. Plus you can get an LED facial and just generally kick your feet up and chill – tried and tested by us and we highly recommend it.
Where: 2532 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
The Glenelg Public House
Serving up premium steak and boutique wine (among other delicious things), The Glenelg Public House is an absolute must-visit in Mermaid Beach and just generally on the Gold Coast. If for some reason you’re not into steak, everything on the menu is top-notch and they have a selection of some of the best sides we’ve ever sampled. There are also small plate options and it’s all mind-blowing. We vouch for the gnocchi. Just. Trust. Us.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Mexican eats at their absolute finest can be found at Bonita Bonita. Taco Thursdays are a favourite amongst the locals and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options should that be your thing. Right next door is Bon Bon Bar so you should also head in there for bulk margaritas before sampling all of the epic eats on offer.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Mermaid Beach Bowls Club
Barefoot bowls is never not a fun time and so, there’s plenty of fun to be had at Mermaid Beach Bowls Club. Round up the crew on a Sunday afternoon for bulk beers and a little ball throwing (bowling) and then venture onto one of the many eateries (like those listed above) to round out the night.
Where: 2418 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Surely we have convinced you that Mermaid Beach is the place to be by now?
Words by Kirra Smith.
Is there anything more quintessentially Queensland than finding yourself on the deck of one of our brilliant surf clubs, a cold libation within arm’s reach, a light breeze ruffling your hair, and unopposed vistas of the most golden sand and teal looking ocean before you? It sounds almost like a dream — but it’s not. It’s just what you can expect when you decide to visit any one of these outstanding and often iconic spots to take a load off your feet and enjoy some much-deserved drinks and eats.
Our coastline is dotted with surf clubs, so choosing one to stroll into off the beach shouldn’t be a hard choice. And quite frankly, it’s not. However, some simply rise to the top — the crème de la crème. Life’s too short for just good surf clubs; we insist you visit only the best surf clubs. Here’s our pick of these said fine establishments running from South to North.
Greenmount Beach Surf Club
The laidback vibes of Coolangatta are the best accompaniment to any day trip down south. Finding yourself at Greenmount Surf Club will give you unsurpassed views back along our coastline in a northerly direction taking in the splendour of cityscape blended in with pristine ocean and hinterland views. Grab a cold one, grab the famous Greenmount Seafood Basket, settle in, and don’t expect to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Where: Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Currumbin Beach Vikings SLSC
Blissful and removed Currumbin Beach is always a great spot to head to for some time on the sand. It’s also the suburb with one of the Coast’s most iconic surf clubs, which has sat alongside Elephant Rock for a little over a century and perched right above the Pacific Ocean. After a recent renovation, the venue is as welcoming as ever and invites you to take a seat and watch the tide roll in during the day — or come by of an evening to enjoy a mixed seafood taste plate and regular open mic nights.
Where: 741 Pacific Parade, Currumbin
Club Talle Surf Club
As far as Palm Beach goes these days, it’s quite the happening place to be. However, if you find yourself in this vibrant neighbourhood and desire a more tranquil and down-to-earth setting, this is your ultimate go-to. There’s always meal specials (but we’re a fan of the Wagyu Beef Burger), live entertainment, and promotions happening literally all the time; and if that wasn’t reason enough, let these guys take care of getting you to and from home with their courtesy bus running seven days a week.
Where: 1505 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
Mermaid Beach AEME Surf Club
Although located on the highly sought-after millionaire’s row of Hedges Avenue, this club ensures they are for everyone — this includes the little ones, with their very own playroom and Kids Eat Free Monday specials. For the bigger ones, the venue boasts daily food specials (come at me Tuesday Steak Night) — including their much-loved Sunday International Food Night with a selection of flavours from around the globe for just $19 — big screen live sports coverage, and regular trivia nights. More than enough reasons to visit — and keep visiting!
Where: 172 Hedges Avenue, Mermaid Beach
Kurrawa Surf Club
Whether you’re a local or visitor, this multi-awarded venue is only steps off the sand, and we think it is the textbook place to grab food and drinks any time of the day. The fire-baked pizzas here are next-level with the dough even freshly made in-house! For whatever reason you find yourself in this energetic suburb, take the leisurely stroll to the beach and you’ll find there are certainly no wasted minutes when you visit Kurrawa Surf Club. Gazing out with a stupendous 230-degree ocean outlook, we think you’ll no doubt agree.
Where: Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach
Surfers Paradise SLSC
The recent renovation to this 100-year surf club has only added to the allure of dropping in for a bite and sip. Sitting pride opposite the beach in the heart of Surfers Paradise, this is the prime spot to escape the hustle and bustle, experience some warm Queensland hospitality, and rub shoulders with some of the friendliest locals around. Beyond some incredible food (trust us, have the Outback Parma) and drinks, which rivals nearby restaurants and cafes, you’re spoilt with exceptional panoramas of the Pacific Ocean — one of the best spots on the Coast if you’re hankering for a glimpse of a whale or two this whale watching season.
Where: Corner of Hanlan Street & The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
Southport Surf Life Saving Club
When is visiting Main Beach ever a bad idea? This often-quieter end of the coast gives you a blank canvas to enjoy your own stretch of sand — and an all-round fantastic surf club to visit as well. Open seven days for breakfast (we strongly recommend the Lifesavers Breakfast!), lunch, and dinner Southport SLSC provides you the opportunity to enjoy some time in the water soaking up a little sun, before towelling off and getting into any one of their top-notch dishes. An impeccable lunch scenario by anyone’s standards!
Where: Macarthur Parade, Main Beach
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
Well now, aren’t we the lucky ones for being fantastically spoilt with endless glorious beaches here on our golden coast. Kilometre after kilometre of pristine sand awaits you around every outcrop, headland, and creek; creating the rather envious — and ever-present — predicament of what beach you might lay your towel on.
It’s the finer details, the nuances if you will, which separate the good from the great. By that we mean not just the beach itself — but the amazing places you can grab something to eat/drink from nearby! As official beach experts, we take great pleasure in outlining the finest patches of shoreline on the Gold Coast for your sun-kissed reading pleasure.
For all readers living north of Surfers Paradise, Main Beach is a huge drawcard when it comes to getting yourself some beach time. And there is little reason why you wouldn’t find yourself here on a perfect day with your favourite book and sunblock. This quiet and sprawling section of sand is backed by some of the Coast’s most luxurious resorts before finally coming to an end at The Spit, which offers you peeks of South Stradbroke Island. Often empty and within striking distance of most northern suburbs, this is a stellar choice for spending an hour or three.
Eat: The Seafood buffet at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort is a must-try either for lunch or dinner. Open to outside guests of the resort and serving the freshest seafood straight from the trawlers.
Do: Peruse the shops at Marina Mirage, then walk to Fisherman’s Wharf (affectionately known as Fisho’s) for a sunset drink overlooking the magificent Broadwater filled with yachts in the Marina. If you’re out late, take a moonlit walk along the beach after dinner to finish off a perfect evening.
The one and only. One of the main reasons why tourism exploded here in the latter part of the last century was indeed Surfers Paradise. A suburb that is a lot of things to a lot of people, but almost certainly the most recognisable part of our coastline for visitors. Although the busy end of town, you will always find a piece of the beach to yourself — finding a car park however is a different affair altogether (catch the tram)! The pedestrianised pathway along the beachfront is the perfect opportunity to pull out your skateboard or dust off your roller skates/blades and experience the beach, in a slightly different way, whilst being active. Regardless of the crowds, if the weather is playing ball, the beach here is one of our best.
Eat: There’s a myriad of options here, however, we suggest you head to Mos Burger (a stones-throw from the beach) to tuck into some Japanese-inspired burger goodness.
Do: We all know shopping is a type of therapy and therefore good for you. Once you’ve had your share of sun, sea, and sand why not shower off and head to Paradise Centre or Soul Boardwalk – you’ll find some of the Coast’s best retailers and sweet ice-cream shops perfect for a hot day.
Further down you’ll find Broadbeach, which can be defined as being a slightly more relaxed and slower version of the vibrant Surfers Paradise stretch. For a morning walk with some incredible sunrise light, this is where you need to be at. When you’ve had enough of getting sand in all of your small places — there’s a spattering of green areas and parks with some great BBQ facilities and seating areas. Still, with its fair share of extravagant looking high rises the shadows begin to creep across the beach (depending on the time of year) around the 3pm mark. By this time, it could very well be time to grab a cocktail anyway…
Eat: A Gold Coast institution, Elk Espresso is the answer to all of your breakfast and lunch dreams. And being positioned on the corner of Oasis Shopping Centre and merely metres from the beach is nothing short of perfection in our eyes.
Do: Feeling like the midday sun is getting to you? Head inside the Oasis and you’ll be met with a tonne of shopping options, making it a tough call to go back to the beach.
The jewel in the crown? Quite possibly, and for good reason. Burleigh has, we think, exceeded all expectations of what a modern Gold Coast suburb should be. With its admixture of surfy/bohemian/laid back vibes and a plethora of shops and eating options, you can easily spend a whole day here and want for nothing. Lush greenery meets golden shoreline as the iconic point and National Park frame the beach at the southern end before it winds a parallel line with the Pacific Ocean towards Miami Hill in the north. Take the day off, grab your sunscreen and put your phone on silent, because this part of our coast is truly a special one.
Eat: With the same eye-watering view, Rick Shores, The Burleigh Pavilion and The Tropic are the ideal places to grab something to eat, and or drink, and remember how lucky you are to be here.
Do: There’s no arguing that the beach here is fantastic. Do as the locals do and head up Burleigh Hill as the sun begins to set and you get to savour those last parts of sunlight as it cascades towards the horizon.
Controversial inclusion or not, being not technically a beach in the sense it isn’t backed by the ocean, Tallebudgera Creek beach is still one of the best places you can get some sun on your skin whilst submerging yourself in pristine water. Being a creek with shallow sand bars, the way the sunlight enters and refracts around the water always provides you with so many different variations of the colour blue! The real magic about this location is the fact you have two different sides of the creek to explore; both have their advantages for when the sun, and wind, start to move throughout the day.
Eat: Nearby Custard Canteen is the creation of husband-wife duo Ben & Ursula Watts of Bam Bam Bakehouse and Cubby Bakehouse fame. Need we say more?
Do: Take a wander down into nearby Palm Beach and treat yourself to some rooftop action either at Frida Sol or Las Palmas.
Having some of the squeakiest and whitest sand along our 70km coastline, Coolangatta Beach was a dead fire inclusion on this list. Unbeknown to some people, the north-facing aspect of this beach, provides some great protection from the southerly winds – meaning no unexpected blasts of sand to the face. Much like Burleigh Headland, Greenmount adds a rustic green backdrop to the beach and acts as a great lookout so you can appreciate the nearby surfing going down at Rainbow Bay. If surfing isn’t your thing then you may well be lucky enough to catch glimpses of dolphins which are known to gracefully glide their way past on any given day.
Eat: Amble your way from the beach to Little Cooly just inside The Strand, with some much-loved pasta and pizza and their signature Sip Sessions from 3pm daily. It’d be rude not to!
Do: Take a stroll to nearby Kirra, walk to the top of the hill to truly enjoy the views of the Gold Coast from a southern perspective. Once you’ve done that, and burned enough calories, it’s time to head to Ottimo for some of the best handmade gelato this side of Italy.
Words by Alex Mitcheson.