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Metabar is officially our new crypto-nite

Cloud Miner & Moon Shot, Metabar Coolangatta (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Cloud Miner & Moon Shot, Metabar Coolangatta (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Ok, so we reckon this place is why the catchphrase ‘if you know, you know’ was coined. Tucked away in the southern burbs, you’ll find a precious gem with a vibe unlike anywhere else in the region. It oozes sophisticated cool (right at home in a place called Cool-angatta) with its New York basement feels, ‘it girl’ curves, and luxer than luxe accents. Ladies and gents, may we present…Metabar, the eats, drinks and events triple threat, levelling up the entertainment scene for locals and vacay-makers alike. Oh and PS, it has live music which actually makes it a quadruple threat, and the secret sauce spurring us to declare in unison “we are here.for.it!”

GC couple Jared and Amy Campbell are the savvy folk behind Metabar, blending their contrasting backgrounds seamlessly to produce something truly unique. Finance guru Jared ditched the suit after nailing the crypto caper to open his dream underground NY-style venue and yes, keen crypto heads just had an ‘aha’ moment re. name inspo. On the other hand, partner in crime (and life!) boss babe Amy runs her own building design company Story Design Collective, and has ensured the vision was executed with finesse, class, and just the right amount of trend factor.

Metabar Coolangatta (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Metabar Coolangatta (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

The multi-use establishment, housing co-working spaces and offices upstairs, boasts indoor and outdoor dining for tapas share plate and pizza-loving peeps (us), with an exclusive private mezzanine space and luxury booth dining. There is a juxtaposition of raw and natural elements with refined, luxe details which Amy, along with Isaac Srour from KTS, have bridged with class and flair. Think metal and polished concrete finishes, pops of wood, dreamy curves for days, warm pendant lighting, and even a chess board to set the tone. There’s an area dedicated purely to live music, as this is one of the venue’s cornerstones.

Now let’s talk about the bar coz firstly, it’s the bar, and secondly, she’s the sleekest, moodiest (in the best possible way) beauty you ever did see. To avoid a stock-standard pub aesthetic, the bar backdrop is actually three giant screens which are generally either displaying an inviting fireplace (which you’d SWEAR was real), or the breathtaking New York skyline.

Metabar Coolangatta (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Metabar Coolangatta (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

What we’re most excited about, however, is Metabar’s chameleon-esk ability to be used as an events space and guys, we are not joking when we say our next work party/product launch/wedding reception/birthday/besties birthday/dog’s birthday (any excuse…) will be here. Those backdrop bar screens are screaming out to be used for a work presentation, embarrassing photo montage, or a sports game, as the bar racks are on wheels and can be moved to the left to the left (and to the right) to maximise viewing. Genius!

After working your way through the five-star tapas like Arancini Balls, Bug Roll, and the Karage Chicken, you’ll be hella thirsty. Fear not as there’s a huge variety of beverages – all named with a nod to crypto (naturally), including a cracking cocktail list. We’re partial to a Cloud Miner with Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Massenez Mango Liqueur, Mango Puree, Lime, Vanilla, Coconut Cream and Roasted Almonds. But the most notable sip (or shot we should say) on their menu are their Moon Shots, which we have to say are out of this world. Literally.

Metabar exterior (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Metabar exterior (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

So southern friends, there’s no need to trek into Broady for a good night out because Metabar truly is in a league of its own, and we’re giving it an eleven out of ten on all fronts. See you there!

Where: 64 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
When: 12 – late, Wednesday – Sunday

Words by Bianca Trathen.

7 things you must experience at Cooly Rocks On

Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)
Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)

When we think of cruisy Coolangatta, our minds wander to the sandy beaches, epic surf, plethora of awesome eats and drinks, and drum roll (or should we say epic guitar riff) please….the iconic Cooly Rocks On festival! Not just for hot rod car and Elvis obsessed dads, this annual extravaganza has something for everyone, with hands-down one of the best festival vibes around. A signature event on our sunny state’s calendar, it attracts thousands of visitors and celebrates the motors, music and lifestyle of yesteryear.

Rocking out from Wednesday 8th – Sunday 12th of June, we’ve penned a list of unmissable happenings at this year’s instalment. So don your swirliest skirt or your most dazzling leather pants and get ready to make a date with all things cool-y, with fun-loving folk from near and far!

Elvis Tribute, Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)
Elvis Tribute, Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)

The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest
Don your blue suede shoes for the prelim round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist (UETA) Contest. Experience Elvis Tribute Artists so amazing that they could out-Elvis Elvis! Contestants including crowd favourites Matt Birse and Stuey V will compete for not only first place, but also a ticket to Elvis Week in Memphis, USA! This year you can even purchase a Gold or Silver general admission ticket and secure a spot at each round! Thank you, thank you very much!
Where: Elvis Marquee (where else!)
When: Round 1: 11am – 5pm Thursday 9 June, Round 2: 11am – 3pm Saturday 11 June & Round 3 (FINAL): 2pm – 5pm Sunday 12 June

Show‘n’Shine
Ok so even if you’re not a car person (guilty), you can’t go to Cooly Rocks On and not see at least one of their seriously cool motor activations…and this one is dubbed the festival highlight. Get up close and personal as you admire over 900 motors from yesteryear, including classics, customs, hot rods and muscle cars just to name a few. Take a pic and enjoy a chinwag with the owners as you walk along Coolangatta’s spectacular beachfront, streets, and alleys.
When: 9am – 5pm Saturday 11 June & 9am – 4pm Sunday 12 June
Where: Marine Parade, Griffith Street & Goodwin Park

Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)
Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)

Retro & Vintage Markets
Truth be told, you had us at markets! A yearly highlight is the curated Retro & Vintage Markets staged along the breathtaking Cooly beachfront. Shop the largest range of retro goodies, vintage items, nostalgia and memorabilia from era’s gone by and let’s be honest, nothing gets our motors started like fossicking for rare and fabulous finds! And coz any sort of shopping works up one helluva appetite, there’s also a huge selection of food to refuel. What’s not to love?!
Where: Coolangatta Beachfront
When: 12pm – 5pm Wednesday 9 June, 9am – 5pm Thursday 10 June and 9am – 5pm Friday 11 – Sunday 13 June

Dance Workshops
Hosted by Cooly locals ‘Gotta Swing’, the Cooly Rocks On Dance Workshops will offer various dance style workshops including rock ‘n’ roll, swing, rockabilly, lindy hop, balboa, line dance and more! It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro or have two left feet (us), the d floor beckons. You don’t need a pre-purchased ticket or a partner (just buy one there – a ticket that is, not a partner!), plus there’s free dancing at the end of each day with DJ Rhythm Man Mark. Tickets are $10 and we reckon it’s the best tenner you’ll spend all year!
Where: The Strand Coolangatta, 72-80 Marine Parade
When: 9am – 5:30pm Wednesday 8 – Friday 10 June, 9am – 1.45pm Saturday 11 June & 9am – 12.30pm Sunday 12 June

Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)
Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)

Harvest Moon Swing Ball
Get ready to swing into history at the highly anticipated Harvest Moon Swing Ball! In a celebration of the original swing era, the 1940s style shindig will feature the Mal Wood Dance Band and a complimentary drink on arrival to help you get your best jitterbug on. Then, continue the party from 10.30pm with Dezzie D and the Stingrayz at The Coolangatta Sands Hotel. Tickets are $35 plus booking fee.
Where: Elvis Precinct
When: 7pm – 10pm, Friday 10 June

Miss Cooly Rocks On Pin-Up Pageant
A festival fave, the Cooly Rocks On Pin-up Pageant is a blend of the ‘classic’ and ‘rockabilly’ pageants you’ve come to know and love at the event over the years. Watch the pin-ups as they compete for the coveted title as they celebrate the fashions, hair and makeup of bygone times. Plus, enjoy special performances from Ella Fontaine, singer, songwriter, burlesque performer and front-woman for Australian rockabilly and rock’ n’ roll band, The Sugar Shakers.
Where: The Elvis Marquee, Coolangatta Beachfront
When: 3pm – 5pm, Friday 10 June

Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)
Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)

Time to Rock On
We couldn’t agree more! The Strand Coolangatta is offering shoppers who spend $25 or more in-centre access to the bespoke, retro-inspired hideaway ‘Time to Rock On’! Kick back with complimentary sweet treats and a goodie bag from Truckloads, treat yo-self to a Mr Consistent mocktail, and enjoy a rock’n’roll hair makeover. There’s also face painting for both big and little kids, and even a fashion illustrator to immortalise your rockin’ new look on paper!
Where: Ground level (outside Just Sunnies), The Strand Coolangatta, 72-80 Marine Parade
When: 11am – 3pm, Saturday 11 June – Sunday 12 June

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Mr Consistent (image supplied)
Mr Consistent (image supplied)

15 reasons locals love Coolangatta

Rooftop of The Pink Hotel, Coolangatta (Image: © 2017 The Undercurrent)
Rooftop of The Pink Hotel, Coolangatta (Image: © 2017 The Undercurrent)

Coolangatta is our southernmost suburb and an uncomplicated little town. Apart from when in summer (and outside lockdowns), you can travel between two time zones — by simply crossing the street!

Time travelling aside, Coolangatta has long been loved for its laidback, beachside vibes and of course, pumping surf when the elements align and the swell fills in. These days, there is a multitude of reasons to visit other than amazing beaches and world-class waves. These include outstanding food venues, lively bars and a few other businesses worthy of your attention. So here are some worthy reasons for a nip into Cooly town.

Have a beachside coffee at Vanilla Lily
Quite possibly Coolangatta’s prettiest cafe, Vanilla Lily is serving up solid coffees and fresh eats in a beautiful setting opposite Greenmount Beach. Chill with the local community who love this hangout and enjoy the delectable fare. Our pick is the Avocado Toast with sliced radish, dried chilli flakes, pomegranate and drizzled with raw honey and lemon on a slice of sourdough.
Where: Shop 2, 110 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Avocado Toast, Vanilla Lily (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Avocado Toast, Vanilla Lily (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Drink a beer at the Coolangatta Hotel
The Cooly Hotel is an absolute must-do. This well-known bar is opposite the town’s main stretch of sand and is often the place folks find themselves towards the latter part of the day. The attractions are world-class live music and great vibes aplenty. Pull up a chair and make an afternoon of it with salt-licked breezes blowing and uninterrupted beach views.
Where: Corner Warner Street & Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Enjoy some good food at Choofas Smokehouse & Seafood
Conveniently located on the town’s main street, the guys at Choofas offer some exceptional fresh and cooked seafood alongside BBQ style smoked meats, ribs, buffalo wings, burgers, steak, chicken and salads able to fill all hungry-bellies. The BBQ smoked meats are rubbed with Choofas own dark dry rub, then cooked long and slow to ensure tenderness and flavour. Choofas Horn Bar is also stocked with over 60 top brand rums, otherwise enjoy a cold beer on tap while overlooking Coolangatta beach as the sun goes down.
Where: 150 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Grab a pie from the Coolangatta Pie Shop
This iconic Gold Coast pie shop has been around for over 50 years, so it’s no wonder they’re serving up some of the tastiest pies around. You can also get some outrightly delicious caramel slices while you’re at it. Perfect for a mid-morning fuel up or after a big afternoon session of surfing. Fun fact: they’re open 24 hours on weekends.
Where: 50 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Francie's Pizzeria (Image: © 2018 Inside Gold Coast)
Francie's Pizzeria (Image: © 2018 Inside Gold Coast)

Eat pizza at Francie’s Pizzeria
Francie’s is some of the best pizza you’ll ever sample, so without hesitation, it quickly became the local’s favourite pizza bar. As purely a walk-in and no reservations style venue, swing by ahead of the crowd for delicious and inventive toppings. Our pick is the Pears Brosnan: Gorgonzola, pear, Prosciutto, and Mozzarella. YUM.
Where: 2/102 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Take a stroll through The Strand
The Strand at Coolangatta is a great respite from all the action at the beach. Filled with all you retail needs (ALDI, Woolies etc), dining (the views from the upstairs restaurants are outstanding) and entertainment (hello Timezone and Cooly’s only cinema). Spend some time strolling around the boutique shops in the air-con; you’re sure to find something you love here.
Where: 72-80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Scoop your way through all the flavours at Ottimo
Ottimo serves up great coffee and makes all of their moreish gelatos in-house, but why are their plethora of dazzling flavours so damn good? Likely because the owner and head gelato maker Davide is Italian and has studied for a diploma from the Gelato University of Carpigiani — we didn’t make this up, it’s true!
Where: 18/52 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Ottimo Gelato (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Ottimo Gelato (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Release your inner child at Timezone
Have the heavens opened up? Or are you simply up for a bit of fun? Timezone Coolangatta features full-sized bowling lanes, over 200 video games, dodgem cars and laser skirmish. Not just one for the kids!
Where: Level 1, 72-80 Marine Parade, The Strand, Coolangatta

Start your day with brekky at South East Espresso
A Cooly favourite for a tasty breakfast and excellent poured Paradox coffee, find South East Espresso tucked a block back from the majestic Rainbow Beach. It’s the ideal spot to satisfy those early morning hankerings, and if you fancy visiting again (which you will after a surf), they’re open for lunch too.
Where: 5 Dutton Street, Coolangatta

Indulge in an Italian feast at Little Cooly
Little Cooly is serving up some mind-blowing handmade pasta alongside a 100-strong Italian wine list that reads like a love letter to Italy itself. If it’s date night, look no further — and if you’re desperate for great pasta, well they have you covered on all bases. In an ode to the local area, dishes have been named after Gold Coast icons and suburbs and shine a light on local produce, for instance The Snapper Rocks features Tweed River prawns, mango, cashews and avocado or The Greenmount features Bangalow bacon, spicy chorizo, a fried egg and mozzarella.
Where: Level 1, Shop 120/72-80 Marine Parade, The Strand, Coolangatta

Little Cooly signage (image supplied)
Little Cooly signage (image supplied)

Get your art on at Maverick Hair & Art Studio
Pop into this tucked away gallery for a fabulous hair spruce up or to enjoy some fresh local art including that of Cooly local Byron Coathup. You’re sure to find sweet, locally designed souvenirs to take home. Your favourite local brand, The Undercurrent is stocked here too. Grab a Cooly tee to remember your time.
Where: First Floor, 1/17 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Take in the view at Greenmount Beach Surf Club
With unsurpassed views in a northerly direction, you can take in everything overlooking the spectacular Greenmount Beach right up to the skyline of Surfers Paradise and, on some days, beyond. If the surf is good, you can also be entertained by surfers as they jostle with each other and generally tear waves apart — the level here is high. Our favourite is an icy schooner in hand and an amber sunset: perfection.
Where: Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Eat a burger at Eddie’s Grub House.
Rock ‘n roll meets fried chicken, burgers and whiskey: does it get any better than that? Get a mouthful of naughty but nice American classics in this soul food dive bar. They regularly have live music and karaoke nights and are one of the best spots to catch up with mates before a night on the town.
Where: 171 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Eddie's Grub House (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)
Eddie's Grub House (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)

Shop local at Cooly’s Beachside Markets
On every second and fourth Sunday of the month, Queen Elizabeth Park comes alive with plenty of local traders selling anything from raw produce to clothing and accessories. The perfect place to take a stroll with a coffee in hand and the sun on your face — be prepared to spend some money.
Where: Queen Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta

Have a sunset cocktail at Moxy’s Rooftop Bar
This Griffith Street rooftop bar is always packed with sunset and weekend revellers sipping on cocktails living their best lives, and this should include you. Regular DJs and insta-worthy drinks mean this venue is a top place to see in the weekend or alternatively help you get over a hump day from hell. Either way, head upstairs and let the good times roll.
Where: 2/152-154 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

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

Madame Za graces Coolangatta with her arrival

Madame Za interior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Madame Za interior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Finding authentic flavours of Asia isn’t that much of a dilemma these days on the Gold Coast. Take your pick, and you can slip into a venue of choice and enjoy single designated cuisines or exciting fusions any night of the week. And one newly opened restaurant has taken this admiration of Far Eastern tastes and delivered a menu that is something directly off a redeye from Asia.

Madame Za located at Rydges Gold Coast Airport is the reason you’ll take a trip to the Gold Coast Airport, even without a plane ticket!

Heading up the kitchen is well travelled Chef Joel Bryant. After many years exploring vast Asian continents and even living for some time in the world’s happiest country of Bhutan, you might say he knows a thing or two about gastronomy from this part of the world. He tells us the menu pushes the limits on being wholly authentic while being enjoyed by the everyday Australian palate.

The offering is what you would call Asian fusion as you can eat your way through Thailand, Japan, India, Nepal and Bhutan with dishes and flavours present from all of these countries. To help you understand where certain dishes come from, you’ll even see on the menu subtle passport marks and airport codes beside each dish denoting where it’s from!

Braised Beef Massaman and Whole Fried Fish with coconut and tamarind sauce, Madame Za (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Braised Beef Massaman and Whole Fried Fish with coconut and tamarind sauce, Madame Za (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Entrees are split into four sections: Betel Leaves, Steamed, Bao Buns, and Fried. As expected, these dishes are great to share, meaning you can try some Peking Duck spring rolls beside Tempura eggplant bao buns, and before you know it, you’ve already eaten for two people and also from two different cuisines!

The mains offering has carefully been considered and you won’t find any bland ‘filler’ style dishes here. A dedicated curry offering has plates from right across the orient like a Nepalese Fish Curry (Barramundi) and a Japanese Golden Cauliflower Curry, whilst a stir fry menu includes a vegetarian Thai Pad See Ew with a Chinese Beef and Black Bean Noodles amongst others. Choose two of these plates and experience contrasting savours, or if you decide to head out for a meal with friends, be well prepared to eat your way across Asia.

The highlight of the mains to share is a Whole Fried Fish in coconut and tamarind sauce (baby snapper) — crispy, creamy, and as fresh as they come, arriving daily from just across the border in Tweed.

Beef and black bean noodles, Madame Za (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Beef and black bean noodles, Madame Za (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

And how could we forget those with an eye for sweet things, the dessert offering will undoubtedly tempt you. Deep Fried Ice Cream anyone? Or perhaps an authentic Red Rice Pudding?! Oh yeah!

All in all, perhaps the biggest drawcard of Madame Za is you can swing in for a sensational lunch or decadent dinner before a flight or just after hitting the tarmac. No more airport food — winner!

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm & 5pm – 9pm
Where: Rydges Gold Coast Airport, Terminal Drive, Bilinga

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Red Rice Pudding, Madame Za (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Red Rice Pudding, Madame Za (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
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