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.
Ahh Miami. I mean the name alone gives cool vibes for days, and this southern GC suburb does not disappoint. In fact, Miami has risen through the ranks over the last few years to become one of THE places to see and be seen at.
Here are 18 reasons why we can’t get enough and LBH, if it’s good enough for Will Smith to sing about, why wouldn’t we write about it?! (a different Miami but, same same).
This place has awards coming out of every orifice and for darn good reason. Turning a 70-year-old Queenslander home into one of our all-time fave bakeries, Paddock hits a homerun every time. With seating options in the gardens, cottage, loft, rooftop and barn, it is the perfect brunch spot. You won’t give a hoot about the calories in their bakery goods because they are worth not being able to fit into your skinny jeans.
Where: 20 Hibiscus Haven, Miami
I mean it’s a distillery, and we feel this is enough of a sales pitch… With award-winning spirits galore made by this family-owned business and a super cool rustic vibe, it’s a no-brainer for an awesome arvo. Try the Two Pencils Gin and the Coffee Liqueur…or maybe don’t coz a trip to Dan Murphy’s will just never cut it again. Also, it’s BYO food so there’s more in the kitty to blow on booze.
Where: 45 Lemana Ln, Miami
If you haven’t been in and emptied your bank account yet, you are not worthy of calling yourself a true Gold Coaster. With homewares, art and craft, flowers, clothes and vintage bits and pieces, this little gem is pure girly heaven. Described as a creative retail space inspired by living slowly and consuming mindfully, it encourages sustainable futures and celebrates creativity. Yay!
Where: 1/29 Lemana Ln, Miami
Kira & Kira
This place is a home decorator’s happy place. Carrying timeless and unique pieces carefully curated from local and global designers and artists, Kira & Kira value true craftsmanship. Their ethos is: buy once, love forever…and we’re here for it. Featured in the who’s who of abode styling magazines, Kira & Kira is a true local treasure and we feel like proud parents watching her grow and conquer.
Where: Cnr Gold Coast Hwy and Kratzman Ave, Miami
Miami Fish Market
If it’s responsibly sourced and sustainable seafood so fresh it’s still swimming (literally) you’re seeking, then this place is your new BFF. If you don’t feel like cooking up their plethora of seafood in your own kitchen, you don’t have to as it also boasts a raw bar with oysters shucked to order, sashimi and specialist conservas from Europe. How good?!
Where: 1/54 Paradise Ave, Miami
This moody, industrial-esque beer garden and tapas haven is a refreshing change from the Palm Springs-inspired venues which rule the GC right now. With mouth-watering bites, fine wines, local beer goodness and of course, cocktails, it’s where we’re spending our Saturday arvos. Hosting regular events like comedy nights, they also serve Halloumi Tacos and do we really need to say anymore?
Where: 2176 Gold Coast Hwy, Miami
Okay so the view from atop Miami Hill is just beyond. It is a steep (but brief) climb, but well worth pushing the ‘ole bod to see our beautiful GC in all its glory from north to south. And if you’re keen to burn off the weekend’s indulgence, the stairs on the north side of the hill are a popular choice for those wanting to raise their heartrate.
Where: At the south end of Miami (you can’t miss it)
Known as Miami Tavern in its past life (or the Shark Bar if you’re older than that), The Miami has been an iconic destination for those after quality pub grub and good times since 1925. This two-storey newly renovated pub draws inspo from its beautiful beachy surroundings, overlooking Miami Hill. It’s a staple for a fun day or night out with the gang.
Where: 2043-2047 Gold Coast Hwy, Miami
If you grew up on the GC, you’ve been to Pizzey Park. A premium sport and recreation precinct, it’s one of the biggest and most popular parks on the Coast. With an area for your pooches to roam, a skate park for the kids to run themselves ragged, and beautiful areas to sit down with a picnic lunch, it’s also the perfect backdrop for an Insta snap-fest.
Where: 80 Pacific Ave, Miami
Going for a scenic stroll along the Esplanade and then rewarding yourself with a Merlo coffee, fresh smoothie or yummy brekkie is good for the soul…and Piccolo Espresso knows it! A fave amongst locals, whether you want to sit down and take in the beach views or grab something to go, you’re sorted. Insider tip: the Avo and Fetta Mash is a winner.
Where: 2 Hythe St, Miami
What would a Miami hotspot list be without our beloved Miami Marketta. It could be the backstreets of Thailand, Barcelona or New York City but nope, this epic night market is right here in our city my friends. A family friendly destination, it dishes up a giant slice of multicultural goodness with stalls, street food, live music and events. A must-see in anyone’s books.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Pde, Miami
The Jolly Roger
Serving only Aussie and NZ catches, this funky fish joint promises the freshest seafood and is furry friend friendly! With a great range of homemade snacks and flavours, plus offering a keto fish and chips meal (bravo) and vegan tofish (get it?!, sounds like something we’d come up with…), it caters to one and all. Ahoy me hearties!
Where: 3/110 Mountain View Avenue, Miami
UGG Since 1974
Because we all love a good UGG. An Aussie-owned and made institution, the UGG will never lose its sparkle. Literally – you can get a pair of custom-made UGGs here with Swarovksi crystals. Not.even.kidding. With a huge selection of colours and patterns plus the option to take a tour of the factory, it’s un-Australian not to check it out.
Where: 23 Christine Ave, Miami
Yes, this is the place where you go to throw axes for fun. It’s actually a thing, and a super fun and strangely satisfying thing at that. Perfect for date night, social outings, birthdays, bucks, break-up (I mean, we didn’t say that) or even corporate events, learn from axe throwing gurus who will get you nailing bullseyes in no time. If it’s good enough for Jason Momoa, it’s obvs good enough for us.
Where: 19 Ozone Pde, Miami
Looking for a feed that’s Italian? That’s BYO? That’s a family-run biz? That’s…Amore! This crowd-pleasing local haunt never fails to knock our socks off. Its reasonably priced menu means we can afford to go every week (if we can get in that is) and its food is as good as it gets. With everything you’d hope to find on the menu, you can taste the love in every dish.
Where: 110 Mountain View Avenue, Miami
This industrial-style space serves up coffee that is off the charts and the menu is loaded with fan-favourites and vegetarian-friendly delish eats. It’s the perfect place to meet up with the crew, take your laptop for a change of scenery during the work day, or pop in for a pre-beach bite. Both Andrew Madgwick and Dylan Nesbit will warmly welcome you!
Where: 44 Pacific Ave, Miami
Another family-run fave, Trader Trove is a curation of handmade rattan furniture, unique home décor, stunning soft furnishings, beautiful giftware collections and so much more. Its worldly wares inspired by slow and intentional living, with a nod to the bohemian and coastal luxe interiors, makes us swoon every.single.time!
Where: 22 Christine Ave, Miami
Words by Bianca Trathen.
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