The moment we’ve all been waiting for will finally arrive this Saturday (March 24th) when nineteen at The Star Gold Coast swings open its solid gold (may be made up) doors.
The high-end restaurant and bar, located on the top level of The Darling in Broadbeach, is pure sophistication unrivaled by any other venue the Gold Coast (and perhaps Australia) has ever seen.
Stepping inside you’ll glide down a curved stairway and be met with sweeping ocean and city views via floor to ceiling windows, stone flooring, a sparkling chandelier and of course, the piece de resistance, an infinity pool from which dreams are made.
nineteen’s colour palette features jeweled hues of teal and ocean blue reminiscent of the Coast’s natural landscape, oozing luxury and ensuring you feel as though you’ve stepped into a glittering wonderland.
As expected, the 110 seat restaurant area will deliver an exceptional, produce-driven dining experience with signature dishes including a Rock Lobster Bolognese and a 400g Wagyu Sirloin Kiwami MB9 (an Australian first and premium dish designed for two).
A custom designed wine room boasts space for 1500 bottles and the bar area offers somewhat of a lighter feel, perfect for after work cocktails or a night of dancing with the girls.
Of course, there’s an exclusive private dining area complete with its own bar and a cognac wall (doesn’t that sounds delightful) to create a completely bespoke experience. Let us know what that’s like hey.
Created for those who crave a truly high class experience, nineteen at The Star Gold Coast is set to be THE place for cutting edge dining with the added bonus of international DJs and plenty of dancing late into the night.
Count. Us. In.
LOCATION: The Darling, Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach
Restaurant: open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday and dinner Wednesday to Saturday.
Bar: open from 4pm daily Wednesday to Sunday.
Words by Kirra Smith
Sports lovers and fans of comfy chairs and views for days get excited, The Star Gold Coast’s new Sports Bar is set to open tomorrow (Thursday the 8th) and it will be THE place to be to watch ALL the sports (because it’s a sports bar, yes).
Particularly if you’re into super-sized LED screens and lots of mini screens perfectly placed to ensure you don’t miss any of the sporting action.
The Sports Bar is The Star’s tenth venue and things are certainly getting fancy in there folks. With floor to ceiling windows showcasing 180-degree views of the city and beach beyond, a plant-filled outdoor area (with heaters for winter) and specialised private booths, it’s unlike any sports bar you’ve ever seen before.
Greys, navy and burnt orange make up the colour palette giving the indoor space a contemporary feel while the deck is all nautical blues and whites to enhance the salty ocean vibes wafting across the highway.
The 10 metre wide mega screen has the magical ability to broadcast multiple events on one screen at the same time and there are 22 additional screen so maybe say goodbye to your husbands ladies.
Three private, VIP booths are available front and centre offering exclusive viewing positions and ice buckets built into the tables so there’s no actual need to ever leave.
If you haven’t nabbed any tickets to the upcoming Commonwealth Games, Sports Bar will be the best place to catch all the action outside the venues themselves.
As it is a bar purely created for sport watching, beer and wine are the beverages of choice. If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, walk a little to your left and check out the delightful selection at Cherry.
With The Darling set to open in a few short weeks, including the extremely fancy Nineteen at The Star rooftop bar, our casino is rapidly morphing into THE place to be.
LOCATION: The Star Gold Coast, Casino Drive, Broadbeach
HOURS: Always open
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
Broadbeach has long been regarded as one of our wining, dining and shopping. With a number of ‘stayers’ boasting staunch followers for many moons, sprinkled with a hearty helping of shiny new eats and drinks players, nothing can dull the sparkle of this burb’s A-grade entertainer status.
Here are precisely 17 reasons why locals – and Gold Coasters far and wide – love themselves a piece of our much-loved Broady.
Social Eating House + Bar
If you’re a foodie, this is your go-to. A modern Australian sensation, Social has more hats than a Milliner’s workshop. With Executive Chef Matthew Jefferson in charge, you’ll experience a carefully curated range of bar snacks, charcuterie, and small and large share plates, all featuring the finest Australian ingredients and paired to perfection. A meal here is worth.every.cent.
Where: 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
The Star Gold Coast
If ever there was a reason to get a babysitter, it’s for a session at The Star. Between the live music and amazing food at the Garden Kitchen & Bar, award-winning Cantonese, Japanese and modern Australian cuisine at Uncle Su, Kiyomi, and Nineteen at The Star, authentic Italian eats at Cucina Vivo, the ultimate buffet experience at Harvest Buffet, a few bevvies at the new-look Atrium Bar and/or the Insta-fave rooftop lounge bar at Nineteen, who needs to go anywhere else?
Where: 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
Broadbeach Bowls Club
Nothing says a chilled GC arvo like a game of barefoot bowls with a brew in hand. Another enduring favourite amongst the local set here on the GC, Broadbeach Bowls Club never fails to deliver a feel-good time for young and old. They serve up big portions of all your go-to pub-grub meals and do a great canape package for a laid-back birthday or celebration.
Where: 169 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant
If you’re after a tried and tested, long-standing comedic cabaret, good ‘ole Dracs has been serving up frights, food and frivolity since we were all ankle-biters. Most people are sold when they hear there’s a ghost train alone, let alone the actual show (which changes every so often, so there’s always a reason to go back), banquet dinner…and shots in syringes!
Where: Hooker Boulevard, Broadbeach
Aloha Bar and Dining
This tropical hidden treasure is all fun vibes, good food and cracking good times. Popular for its hospo nights, taco Thursdays, karaoke nights, live music and pumping DJs, there’s always something going on here. The tapas always deliver the feels (bao buns…I die!!), the Cucumber and Jalapeno Margi is (too) easy to drink, and we never tire of the super cute fit-out.
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach
Sofia’s Restaurant & Bar
With an impressive contemporary Coastal European menu, we are completely besotted with Sofia’s…and we’re not alone. A meal here is all about enjoying and sharing simple, delicious food with your favourite people – as it should be, and truly encapsulates the famous words ‘That’s Amore’. Also, you heard it here first but Sofia’s is on the move. Watch this space!
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach
Have you ever seen this place anything but bulging at the seams? Aaaand of course you haven’t. Since its pre-migration days just up the road, it’s had an army of raving fans and yes, this obvs includes us. A hop, skip and a jump from the beach, the coffee is all-time, the seasonal menus are heavenly, and they even do a Boozy Bottomless Brunch. And sold.
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, 12 Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach
Blues on Broadbeach
So unlike our other listings, it may not be here 24/7 but it’s that much of a Broady icon that it would be criminal not to throw it a mention. As the name suggests, it brings us world-class blues and jazz music from locals and famous acts alike, performing across multiple venues over four unforgettable days. And it’s free, and sorry but when does that ever happen?
Where: Various Broadbeach venues
CHA CHA Japanese Restaurant
Gold Coasters have been CHA CHA bound for an authentic Japanese nosh-up which won’t break the bank for years, and that’s not about to change any time soon. The banquet menu is divine and every visit you’ll experience the same level of scrumptiousness. But the soy on the dim sum…it’s BYO and it’s hard to find an already affordable yet high-quality restaurant offering our 3 favourite letters. Score.
Where: 2705 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
An everyday escape for locals, The Oasis is one of our numero uno shopping centres and for good reason. Not only some unique fashion boutiques live here, but the sheer number of amazing eateries is tres impressive. In addition to the ones we highlight in this article, we’re talking Mario’s, Madisons Café and Patisserie, Spice Kitchen and Bar, and The Broadbeach Tavern to name just a few. It’s a #OneStopShop.
Where: 75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Soho House Bar
Just look for the London-esk red phone box and you know good times await. An intimate, hidden gem-adorned in graffiti and jam-packed with peeps sipping and bopping along to the sweet sounds of live DJ’s, this joint is seriously cool. The cocktail list is l.i.t, the crew are super engaging, and they’ve even been known to host things like a Wild Flower Gin Masterclass. What’s not to love?
Where: Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach (between Queensland and Victoria Avenues)
You just know it’s destined for greatness with ‘Unicorn’ in the name. This Mediterranean seafood-infused newcomer has hit the ground running with its all-day menu goodness, and show-stopping cocktail menu that’s 20 options deep #hellofriend. You can’t help it but exhale as you settle into the relaxing blue and white-hued space, brimming with ocean murals and friendly smiles from the welcoming staff.
Where: Phoenician Resort, 24-26 Queensland Avenue, Broadbeach
No Name Lane
Okay, Blake Lively declared her caffeine hit from No Name Lane as “the best coffee of her life” and holy heck, if it’s good enough for Queen Blake… Better than any boujee on-trend Melbourne café, the coffee here has a cult following. The all-day breakfasts and gourmet lunches also go down a treat so if you haven’t been, remedy this immediately.
Where: The Oracle, Elizabeth Avenue, Broadbeach
Pacific Fair, oh how we love thee. Any time we want a new ensemble for, well, any occasion (retail therapy is real you know), we all beeline for Pac Fair. With every retailer you could possibly wish for, amazing food options and seriously THE most gorgeous shopping centre fit-out we’ve seen, there are luxe and lush coastal accents at every turn.
Where: Gold Coast Hwy and Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach
The Loose Moose
Specialising in “dirty food made clean”, there are always bums on seats in this Prohibition Tap and Grill House, one of the Gennari Group’s most popular establishments. The delish menu offers up the best of the best Canadian fare like ribs, wings, hot dogs and burgers, and is always ready for a crowd to #GetLooseAtTheMoose.
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, Broadbeach
The Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub
LBR, you had us at Spiegelclub. The Pink Flamingo has become a fave for locals, visitors and critics alike, with its four spectacular resident cabaret-style shows. Custom designed with a twist of swanky art-deco décor and inspired by the original 1920’s Spiegeltent and the NYC Cabaret Club district, it’s five-star luxury and entertainment not to be missed.
Where: Corner of Surf Parade & Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach
Kurrawa Surf Club
Ocean views don’t come any better than this. With legit THE most prime location, Kurrawa Surf Club has everything you’d want from a Surf Club…and more. With awesome regular members specials and fresh ingredients, there’s no such thing as a bad meal here. They host a trivia night and live music, and of course there’s the obligatory gaming lounge for those who like a flutter.
Where: Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach
Words by Bianca Trathen.
We’re going to call it, Simon Gloftis is the man who started the foodie revolution on the Gold Coast. Starting with Little Beans, then now-iconic Greek eatery Hellenika and finally The Fish House, the restaurateur has a slew of local firsts under his belt.
His passion for the Gold Coast’s dining scene has seen him become one of the most familiar faces in town and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
We chat with Simon about Hellenika’s soon to be opened rooftop bar and the game-changing plans he’s got in store for the Coast.
How did your passion for food came about?
I didn’t realise but obviously growing up in a European family, it was ingrained in me when I was a kid. My godfather has one of the most famous Greek restaurants in Melbourne and we used to go there as a family but I wouldn’t sit at the table I’d go and stand at the door of the kitchen and they’d pass me food and I’d take it out. Then I got a job delivering pizza, worked in a few restaurants, then went to pizza maker and floor manager then I went back to the kitchen. I eventually left hospitality and got my real estate license but every night I was going home and instead of studying the real estate course I was looking at cookbooks so I realised what I loved. I had three cafes on the Gold Coast and then from the cafes I opened Hellenika then Fish House.
What is it you love so much about it?
I literally wake up in the morning and start thinking about food, then I eat food and I don’t stop until I go to bed. It’s my life. I don’t travel anywhere other than for food. When I go to Europe I book the restaurants before I go, even if I’m popping down to Sydney I book the restaurants before I book the flights. It’s all I want to do.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I went to Marymount College from year four. I was born in Melbourne then we moved to Brisbane, back to Melbourne then to the Gold Coast.
What do you love most about living here?
I just think there’s an energy here on the Gold Coast that the bigger cities could only dream about. We can actually make an impact with such a small decision. When I opened up Little Beans in Nobby’s it was probably the only real espresso bar on the Coast and people followed it straight away. We needed these places. In a big city you can make an impact but you get lost. My whole success on the Coast has been because people supported me. They followed me from Three Beans to Little Beans to Piccolo to Hellenika to The Fish House and now back to Hellenika. I’ve got the same customers from back then and some of my staff have worked in all those venues. The Coast has been a massive support for me.
Why are you so passionate about bringing such quality dining venues to the Coast?
Some of it’s a bit selfish, I actually do things I like and then hope enough people like the same thing. I’m a big fan of healthy food, not as in quinoa salad, as in King George Whiting and Greek salad. When you come to one of my restaurants you will get the best produce in Australia, bar none. We’re either equal to, or better than, every other restaurant in the country and that’s my whole motto.
Do you have a personal favourite of all the ones you’ve opened?
Hellenika. I love every one of my venues because they’re all a piece of me but when I walk into Hellenika I feel like it’s home. I eat there five or six nights a week, I’m happy there. I love the nice big wooden tables, the Greek music, the food, and the wine, the feeling. We all say there’s something in the walls at Hellenika, it’s looked after so many people. It feels like it’s been around for 40 years.
What have you got in store for Hellenika?
We renovated the whole building and I put a whole new level on it. Downstairs will be opening next Friday (1st September) and upstairs is probably about eight weeks away. Upstairs will be a bar with a retractable roof. Downstairs has gone from a taverna-style venue. It had that real rustic Melbourne-style Greek restaurant feel. It’s gone away from that now so when you walk in you’re going to feel like you’re in a Greek restaurant in Athens but something that’s modern today. We’ve gone from 110 wines on our list to 500, it’s amazing, there are 50 indigenous wines from Greece alone. We’re taking everything to the next level. We’ve added some new dishes to the menu – kept about 60% of the favourites – but added some really traditional Greek dishes. Things like Corfu Bianco which is my favourite dish, it’s potatoes and Kingfish baked in the oven with olive oil and lemon juice. So simple but so beautiful.
It’s going to be a touch more formal downstairs and then upstairs is a lot more casual. It’ll be all the mezze food, which is tapas in Greek. Things like pork belly, meatballs, zucchini chips, all that lighter stuff. The bar upstairs will be the main focus, we just want people to be able to come and have a light dinner or snack and drinks. We’ll try and be open until midnight every night upstairs so there’s no guessing if we’re open. You can feel comfortable to go at 10 o’clock at night and have a wine.
What are your thoughts on the rapidly growing dining scene of late?
To give you an example, seven years ago I had to explain what share food was. We had to tell people that food comes to the middle of the table and it’s sort of like a Chinese restaurant. Hellenika was also the first one to do double sittings. Now, that’s commonplace. Nine of my ex staff have opened up venues between Broadbeach and Palm Beach, most of your favourites were opened by my ex staff. I’m really proud of what’s happened on the Gold Coast, if I had a small part to do with it, that’s great.
How would you like to see our foodie scene change or grow over the next few years?
We’ve opened up all the venues I think it might be enough now, there’s nearly one restaurant per person. I think there might be a little bit of hardship to come, just because I know how hard it can be. I’m hoping we consolidate a little bit and maybe get more quality into what we’ve already got before we think about expanding too much further. We need all these local restaurants to make sure what they’re doing is the best they can do. I think it’s neglectful to customers if you start giving them things that are making them sick like artificial flavours and enhancers. I’m hoping we improve on what we’ve got before we grow too much more.
What’s happening after the rooftop is up and running?
I sold The Fish House to do an amazing project, which I can’t mention for a few months but that’s the next big one. Hellenika will always be my baby but I’ve got plans for something that will really be game changing. I can’t wait to launch it.
Being a Gold Coast local, we have to ask your favourites…
Café: For someone who’s owned cafes, I don’t hang out in cafes. I do pop down to get a smoothie or juice from Smoothie Shack, that’s about the extent of it.
Restaurant: Can I mention a few? For steak, Glenelg Public House, again Aaron used to work with me. For soup I go to New Saigon and get my Pho. For ribs I go to Fire Cue. For sushi I go to Sapporo in Broadbeach, they’re the only ones on the Gold Coast that I know buys the same quality seafood I do (just ask them what their best dish of the day is and go with that). For hot pot I go to Itoshin in Mermaid Beach. My cousin owns The Lamb Shop in Burleigh so I’m always up there. Pinocchio in Mermaid Beach do a really good fennel salad.
Weekend hang: I’m working on weekends but my weekend is during the week. I’m just hanging out in Nobby’s. The boys and I always get together on a Tuesday and have dinner, that’s my thing. My family owns Miami Marketta so I’m there a lot to watch a band and hang out.
He’s the Coast’s very own Manpower star turned nightclub owner and entertainment guru and now, local legend Billy Cross is in the business of six-star rooftop bars.
Billy has joined forces with The Star Gold Coast and Hellenika’s Simon Gloftis to bring the Gold Coast a next-level (literally) restaurant and lounge bar with sweeping city views and a sense of sophistication the likes of which our city has never seen.
We chat with Billy about what we can expect from the game changing venue and how he’s gone from King of the glitter strip to co-creator of what he calls the best rooftop bar in Australia.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve lived here for 35 years; I came up quite young so I’m a true Maroons supporter, and I’ve lived here long enough to qualify.
What are your thoughts on the Coast’s growing entertainment scene?
I suppose the thing I love most about being in the entertainment and food industries is seeing how they’ve changed. 10 years ago we had cafes and a restaurant here and there but now when you look at what we have, especially from Broadbeach to Burleigh, there are some absolutely amazing establishments. That’s the part that’s excited me most. 10 years ago you could go to one or two restaurants that were quite good but now there are so many options and so many amazing operators that have really put us on that national level.
What do you love most about living here?
Where I started and created my business was with the Manpower show – Thunder Down Under – which is in Vegas now but also travels the world. I had an opportunity to live and bring my family up in the US but I didn’t because I’ve always loved living on the Coast and everything our city offers. I then got into the nightclub and festival industries, started Summafieldayze and am now involved in events so when you look at those businesses, the Gold Coast is probably one of the best places in the world to work but there’s also a relaxed lifestyle where you can bring up a family. We also have the best beaches in the world and the hinterland, the Coast offers so much. We’re quite spoilt.
Tell us about your latest project at The Star Gold Coast, what can we expect?
It’s going to be a lounge bar, there’ll be a pool and an amazing restaurant. I think Simon and I together are just a dynamic force. In the late 90s I ran the nightclub strip in Surfers when it was powering. I got out of the industry and thought I was done but being asked by The Star to get on board with this investment was so exciting for me. What we’re going to create is not just something the Gold Coast will love but also something that will appeal to people Australia-wide and all over the world. Having a rooftop at The Star Gold Coast is going to be incredible, it’s a serious player and I think it’s going to be the best rooftop bar in Australia. It’s gotten me so excited to get back into the industry. It’ll be a place for the over 25s market to really enjoy. I’ve been involved with it now for the past two years and we’ve needed this on the Coast for a long time. We’ve got some great places but this one is going to be a six-star tower, a really classy place.
How do you think the venue will change the Gold Coast’s entertainment scene?
What it will create is a very high-end restaurant that’s going to have one of the best views on the Gold Coast. As a lounge and bar experience it will have an amazing atmosphere of pure class. You can come up and relax with a beautiful view, enjoy some amazing drinks and some cool old school music. It will have an edgy but classy feel, which I think is something we don’t really have at the moment.
How did you and Simon come up with the idea for something so extravagant?
It was collaboration of course. A big part of the design and the creation was between Simon, myself and The Star. They’ve got an amazing team of people on board and that makes our job easier. It was just everyone putting in their ideas and their two cents to see what it became. For the last five years it’s been something I’ve touched on. For those over 25, after you go to dinner, where do you go? This is going to be a place where of course the restaurant will be busy too, but it will be somewhere you can also go after dinner to have a lounge experience. I feel like this will be the place to go to dress up, enjoy drinks with your friends or partner and have a great time. The bar will be open until 3am so you can go and have a dance after dinner, which is something I think we really need here.
When will we find out the name?
The name will come out in the next couple of weeks; we’ve got a big campaign starting soon. To show people photos just doesn’t do it justice, I can’t wait for people to experience it.
You’ve done so much throughout your career, what have been the highlights?
I’m quite fortunate that I’ve had such a great career in the entertainment industry. When I built my first club, the Berlin Lounge Bar, back in the late 90s we were one of the first to bring house music to the Gold Coast so that was definitely one of the highlights. Creating Summafieldayze was a highlight because there was only Big Day Out back then. Having a diverse career in entertainment, from running a successful show in Vegas to the nightclub industry to creating one of the biggest festivals in SE QLD and now being involved in what’s going to be one of the best restaurant and lounge bars in Australia, I can’t complain. The highlights keep coming.
Any chance you might want to bring us another local music festival?
We’ve always talked about that. I’m involved with the Hangout Festival called Sand Tunes on Coolangatta Beach which will happen on December 1st and 2nd this year so that’s going to be huge. The guys that run Hangout Festival in Alabama have a great lineup so that will be quite diverse and exciting for the Gold Coast. It will have that Splendour and Falls feel and will be a great tourism push for the southern Gold Coast.
Best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
Do what you love and love what you do. A lot of people in this world will tell you, you can’t do something but you’ve just got to believe in yourself.
Being a Gold Coast local we have to ask your favourites on the Coast…
Beach: We usually go down to First Ave in Broadbeach but I do love Currumbin, you can’t really beat it
Cafe: BlendLove, Goji Bar in Clear Island Waters and I definitely love Elk Espresso
Restaurant: Definitely Hellenika is my favourite
How does your weekend usually look? My weekend is usually spent with the kids who are right into their basketball at the moment. I’m quite involved in that and the Gold Coast Rollers basketball team, I love my basketball and I love my Titans aswell. I spend a lot of time at Riverstage at the moment too.