A beer garden is our type of garden.
A beer garden is our type of garden.
Finding places to kick back in an outdoor space with live music can sometimes be a little mission here on the Gold Coast. You either have amazing open-air spaces and no music or great live music but indoors. Finding the two combined should be a welcome find then; throw in some great food and tasty drinks, and you should be onto a winner, right?
Well, low and behold, since opening last week, Spec in Miami appears to be ticking all of those boxes!
The new venue has taken over the space that was once home to the vegan-friendly and whitewashed Love Child Collective just south of Nobbys Beach on the Gold Coast Highway. We won’t lie; we were sad to see The LC close its doors some time back. However, this story has a happy ending. With Love Child Kitchen & Bar moving itself further up into Mermaid Beach and Spec setting up shop, we have the best of both worlds.
If the darker feel and décor are anything to go by for Spec, it promises a more mature and mixed offering than its predecessor. With a big emphasis on delivering what all great Gold Coast venues should: beautiful spaces with excellent service and captivating menu items.
Perhaps the most eye-catching part of Spec is its rather sizeable and vibrant mural depicting an excited/upset bear (open to interpretation) from local creative designer/muralist Kiel Tillman. Seriously, what this guy can do makes us totally in awe of the true talent artists have. What’s the inspiration behind a bear, you might wonder? We’re told, one of the owners is a full-time special forces soldier who spends much time stationed overseas in a unit nicknamed ‘The Bears,” hence the name. Spec also stands for specifications, which are integral in bringing cocktails to life and getting flavoursome recipes together. Without them, your tastebuds would be at a loss!
Spec’s overall vibe is industrial with a slice of refinery and a sprinkling of masculine charm. Inside there are some leather couches that just beg to be slipped into whilst sipping one of their S.O.B. cocktails, a tequila inspired old fashioned-esque short drink. High tables offer the perfect opportunity to catch up over locally made beers and lose track of time. Whilst copious outdoor space — front and back — means basking in the afternoon sun with French Rosé and grazing on a dynamic menu is a welcomed opportunity.
Food-wise the menu has a slight leaning towards Mexican with delicious Tacos of the pork, beef and fish variety and other associated spicy fresh flavours. You’ll also see a nod to European favourites with a Sweet Sicilian Bruschetta, Baked Brie, Patatas Bravas and Pea & Feta Arancini Balls.
Open every morning from 7am as a coffee bar, lunch and dinner kicks off from Wednesday through to Sunday. On the horizon, Spec plans to hold open-air movie nights by a projector in their back garden space as well as regular live music. In doing so, they plan to capture some of the crowd that migrates between Nobbys Beach and Miami. And with a pending application for a 2am liquor license, this could become a new favourite late-night hangout for those who like to stay up past their bedtime. You might just have to reschedule that sunrise jog, we’re afraid.
Where: 2176 Gold Coast Highway, Miami
When: Coffee Bar 7 days 7am – 11am | Kitchen & Bar Wed-Sun 11am – late
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
Get in loser, we’re going shopping (and eating, and brewery-hopping, and sight seeing, and exploring street art, and… you get the idea)
Now you might be wondering why we’re throwing around random movie quotes to kick off this list (in our defence there is a Mean Girls line for *every* occasion) – but if suburbs were Mean Girls characters, Miami would for sure be the one to utter this iconic line. Miami has it all, and it knows it. Take one glance at just some of the epic spots we’ve lined up and you’ll soon see why all the other suburbs wish they could be this cool.
One thing locals know, is the only thing loose in this (top) paddock is only the most scrumptious, buttery baked goods in 4220. Ever since Paddock opened it’s charmingly renovated doors in 2014, locals have been flocking there daily for their much-kneaded Paddock fix.
Reigning supreme as our baked-goods, brunch and lunch hookup ever since, the ex-Queenslander-turned-treehouse-of-our-childhood-dreams has expanded to welcome us and our relentless sweet tooth’s with open arms. With the lush gardens, cottage, loft, rooftop and barn to retreat to, the only thing more extensive than the dining space options is the menu to indulge from.
Where: 20 Hibiscus Haven, Miami
It used to be that Granddads were good for stealing our noses and sneaking us butter candy, but in Miami, Granddad Jacks is good for plying us the finest locally distilled spirits, gin making classes, distillery tours and of course and just an all-round cool haunt to sit back with a top notch bevvy and let our mullets run free. These masterful wizards didn’t amass a whopping 70+ awards by getting distracted by anything other than distilling, so it’s BYO food too (and surely that means more to spend on the good stuff!)
Where: 45 Lemana Lane, Miami
Miami Fish Market
It would be shell-fish of us not to include the absolute pearl that is Miami Fish Market, and we have two words for you: Sashimi box. Soy-n us up, pls! Fin-ally, we have a hook up for the finest and freshest seafood that’s a sure thing (unlike heading home empty handed from your holy grail fishing spot). Also unlike a day on the water, the pros will handle all the dirty work so you can do as much or as little as you like – oysters shucked to order, anyone?!
Where: 1/54 Paradise Ave, Miami
Wine not take those fresh sucked oysters to-go and mosey right on over for a bougie picnic at the picturesque Pizzey park. As one of the biggest parks on the GC, Pizzey is a local icon and hub for sports, clubs, recreation and all round fun times for all ages. There’s an aquatic centre, playgrounds galore, a wheely epic skate park and let’s not forget the off-leash dog area for our four legged BFFs (paw out of five dogs agree Pizzey is the best park for zoomies on the GC)
Where: 80 Pacific Ave, Miami
The Coast’s OG street food night markets that put Miami on the map as a must-visit destination for foodies and live music lovers alike. The first venue of it’s kind to Miami and perhaps even the Coast, Marketta quickly grew to establish itself as a mainstay among the GC scene, bringing good vibes, live music and great food galore via the eclectic creative and cultural hotspot for over ten years now. Our beloved market brings us all our favourite tastes of the world as well as that same buzzing atmosphere that’s favoured by families especially, for rounding up their rowdy broods for an easy night out that everyone can enjoy.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Pde, Miami
UGG Since 1974
With the hotter weather officially taking some mercy on us now we’ve packed away the budgie smugglers and it’s the perfect time to slip into something a little more cosy. Enter, Ugg Since 1974 – churning out wearable warm hugs for your feet since, well, 1974. Don’t be feeling sheepish if you didn’t know they’ve expanded their range to include a huge selection of colours, styles and options to customise – including monogramming (cute!) through to paw-dorable pet accessories (even cuter!) With factory tours running right out of Miami, the only thing better than supporting local, is treating your tootsies to a cloud-nine experience in the process.
Where: 23 Christine Ave, Miami
Ever find yourself struck by the sudden and insatiable urge to don your flanno’s and yeet sharp objects at the wall? Okay so perhaps not, but when your usual rotation of outings is just not cutting it anymore – it might be time to hit up Lumber Punks because you really can’t axe for a better way to get the crew together for some laughs or some fun date night axe-ction. If you haven’t yet tried your hand at the phenomenon that is axe throwing, chop chop – because this is one adventure that brings the axe-mosphere in blades (er, spades, rather). If it’s good enough for Jason Momoa, it’s obvs good enough for us.
Where: 19 Ozone Pde, Miami
Okay, now it just feels like Miami is showing off and 469 (no kidding) google reviews can’t be wrong. At first glance those deceptively colourful trademark stairs might look all sunshine and rainbows, but one thing’s for sure – conquer that climb and you will be rewarded with one of the best vantages on the coast. With stunning views of the coastline from Surfers right down to Burleigh, there’s only one thing left to say: How’s. the. serenity. (and maybe a hearty dose of *heavy breathing* depending on how many times you decide to take on those stairs #cardi-no thanks)
Where: At the south end of Miami (you can’t miss it)
Trader Trove, more like treasure trove. Welcome to Miami’s own worldly homewares haven for those who prefer their interiors on the luxe side – and their swoon-worthy assortment of bohemian inspired home decor, that’s more expertly curated than an influencers insta feed.
We love: a family run local biz with a dreamy selection of ethically minded homewares. We don’t love: that all self control seems to exit our body when we visit.
Where: 22 Christine Ave, Miami
You no longer need a certified 90’s banger to be proclaiming ‘fergalicious (so delicious)’ because ever since Fergs moved to town we’ve had an excuse to be saying it daily. For the unacquainted – f.e.r.g.s aka Fresh Eats Really Good Sh*t – has been dishing up breakfast and brunch much to the delight of southern GC, with all the staple brunch suspects you’d expect, but also the likes of Lemon Meringue Crumpets and really, need we say more?
Where: 2/43 Hillcrest Parade, Miami
It’s no secret us Gold Coasters are quite partial to doing what we can to our put our best #lewks forward, and over the last few years the streets of Miami have also been undergoing somewhat of a glow up themselves (and #spoileralert – there’s no filler to be found here folks). If it’s been a while between visits, it might surprise you to learn the suburb is at the heart of a thriving GC art and cultural boom, with a bunch of incredible artists transforming the local laneways into a destination in and of themselves. There’s even the Art Roll website dedicated to mapping out the best routes for your own self-led street art tour.
And the event that started the movement, Surface Festival returns for it’s third year this July, set to transform the local footpaths, fence lines, laneways and walls with some art-mazing fresh new works to admire and we’re here. for. it.
Where: Check the Art Roll website for locations
Precinct Brewing Co
If you’ve worked up a thirst just reading this list – last but by no means least is everyone’s (yep, we called it) favourite brewery, Precinct Brewing Co. Once you’ve stepped through the doors you’ll be welcomed into a sleek, all-white space with greenery dripping from up high, and an absolute slew of tanks brewing up some tasty treats. You can see why people say, it’s the place to beer! Don’t forget to grab one of the tasty pizzas coming from the onsite kitchen too…
Where: 17 Christine Ave, Miami
If you, like us, have been waiting with baited breath for the unveiling of Miami’s elusive new eatery, we’ve got good news.
The Henchman on, you guessed it, Henchman Ave in Miami opened their doors this week and it’s the gift that will keep on giving for quite some time.
The Henchman is the white double storey building you can glimpse from the Gold Coast Highway, strung with fairy lights and a sweet little picket fence. Taking the place of a former Balinese furniture store that gets a nod in the form of a huge golden Buddha statue watching over the sizeable outdoor area.
And what an outdoor area it is. Hammocks, wooden picnic-style tables, more delightful fairy lights and plenty of greenery make up the covered space and it’s the perfect spot for an early morning (organic) Byron Bay Coffee Co. brew or, a brew of the frosty alcoholic variety in the coming weeks.
That’s right Gold Coasters, The Henchman is set to be the outdoor beer garden we’ve been waiting our whole lives for (dramatic) and yes, we may have done a happy dance.
There’ll also be a little indoor bar section on the bottom floor and upstairs, a stunning naturally lit space for functions and private parties. It’s got a pool table too.
If, for some strange reason, those little treats didn’t make you excited, here’s a few more little things that might. Through a little gate at the back of the space, a beach is being created complete with actual sand, a beach bar, cabanas and the promise of an actual (shipping container-style) pool for all your swimming and sipping needs. HOW GOOD. Stay tuned for updates.
Menu-wise, for now, The Henchman will be serving up a little sampling menu of breakfast slash lunch items with more tasty eats on the way.
Fine by us. The Nanananana Jaffle is the goods with gooey Nutella, freshly chopped banana and Byron Bay Coffee cream. Oh and it’s not any old jaffle, it’s made with puff pastry and you simply won’t understand how good it is until you sample it.
The Italian Stallion is all your dreams come true with slow cooked grassfed mince, mushrooms, garlic, free range bacon, cherry tomatoes, Napoli sauce and filled with mozzarella cheese.
Batman’s Bircher Bowl is a lighter option; it’s got a mix of activated superfoods including almonds, chia, hempseeds, banana, goji berries and the like (there’s way more) plus organic coconut yoghurt and fresh mint.
There’s also a fresh, colourful salad of the day and it can be vegan friendly or with added meat if you so wish.
Once the bar is up and running it’ll be late night snacks for everyone (our favourite) including share plate style dishes of the charcuterie board variety and the love of your life, chicken wings. There’s more of course but everybody needs a few surprises in life.
To sum up, if you’re a fan of breezy outdoor spaces, brews of both the caffeine and alcoholic varieties and guaranteed good vibes, The Henchman is for you. And us.
Let the party begin.
LOCATION: 6/8 Henchman Ave, Miami
HOURS: 4.30am until 4pm
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
Wednesday is usually not the day associated with cool events, but it is now!
Tucked away on a Miami side street is Miami Marketta.
Known as the Gold Coast’s weekend spot for tasty street food, fun cocktails, boutique shopping and a live band, the Miami Marketta is all around awesome, but a seemingly little known fact is that Miami Marketta is not just for the weekenders! You can experience Marketta’s awesomeness 4 nights a week!
I’m a big fan of the Miami Marketta and have done some serious eating there more than a handful of times over past weekends, but I had my maiden voyage to a Wednesday Marketta last week. Imma tell you about it…
Firstly, parking was a breeze! A sign for good things to come. As I made my way to the entrance it started to drizzle. As a former weekend Marketta-er I was a bit bummed because Ithought that would mean standing in the rain to wait for my food. – NOT ON A WEDNESDAY!
Wednesday is tapas night at Miami Marketta and they host a smaller selection of vendors, which means that they all fit under the twinkly lit steel canopy.
On weekends long rows of communal tables occupy the space under the shelter of the canopy pushing the vendors outside. During the week the tables are turned to stand alone making for a more intimate setting amongst friends, and creating covered space for the vendors to set up. (Keep that in mind for rainy days)
Now, just because Wednesdays do not boast the same number of vendors as the weekends do, it does not mean there is any shortage of flavour or options. One of my favourite things about Miami Marketta whether it be a weekday or weekend is that it’s ethnically ambiguous. In a few short steps, you can go from smelling the frying corn chips at the Mexican stand, to the mouth-watering meat being grilled for the Mediterranean salads and kebabs. The smell of a wood fired oven filled with Italian pizzas mixes with the sweet scents of Belgian waffles and it’s a glorious overload making it nearly impossible to choose just one thing. –But on Wednesday you don’t have to, nor should you! All dishes start at $6 so the tasting and sharing is easy and inexpensive!
In front of flamingo wallpaper is a liquor bar specialising in hand crafted cocktails and beside that was the coffee and sweets bar. The coffee bar wasn’t that popular in the late evening, but the cocktail bar was pumping. Drinks served in glass jars were adorned with funky fun straws and tasted like sweet sweet love. If you were in the mood to keep your drinks simple, they had a nice selection of beer and wine.
And just because the coffee bar wasn’t popping at night, doesn’t mean you should skip out on it. Marketta Cafe is open Tuesday – Saturday starting at 6am to fill all your early morning coffee needs!
The Marketta celebrates the arts and always has something nice going on to feed your soul and not just your mouth.
Wednesdays there is a DJ spinning relaxed beats and this particular Wednesday there was a local designer putting on a fashion show. The mix of two was such a treat. Not your usual Wednesday night dinner entertainment 🙂
Boutique shops sold mostly homewares and clothes. art. -All very cool pieces I might add!
The grill smoke trapped by the rain swirled against the ceiling, models strutted in casually elegant clothes, the DJ spun smooth tempos, the food was tasty and cheap, and the patrons were delightfully hip and laid back.
Successful Wednesday night.
Miami Marketta is open