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Sweet Lou’s Saloon

Listen up y’all. Southerners have moved into Cooly and they’re bringing all those smokey, BBQ-inspired flavours you’ve come to know and love.

Sweet Lou’s Saloon can be found underneath The Strand with beach views and salty breezes aplenty.

It’s an intimate little space with mostly sidewalk (unsure of the Aussie word and must keep typing) seating and a few artfully placed southern-style trinkets, including a sweet saxophone, to remind you of what you’re about to experience.

Which is, team, New Orleans-esque grub of the (mostly) share plate variety along with southern-flavoured burgers, ribs of course, loaded fries – all the delicious bulking-for-summer things.

Standouts include the Buffalo Cauliflower with blue cheese sauce (only $5 – move aside), Chargrilled Corn Cobs with chipotle aioli and Mac n Cheese Croquets with Jack Daniels glaze.

Sticky Ribs are extra meaty and extra saucy (stop it) and washed down with an authentic Mint Tulip, you’ll be one happy clam.

Sweet Lou’s is the baby (literally) of Blake Read who was in fact born in Macon, Georgia and moved to Sydney as a youngster. The venue is named after Blake’s little girl Lou Lou and isn’t that the sweetest.

He’s also the guy behind the Beach Burrito phenomenon but a few indulgent trips to New Orleans put the idea for Sweet Lou’s into his mind (the venue not the child, although maybe both).

His family home was filled with Blues music and smoke from backyard southern BBQs and aren’t we happy his parents made the life choice to hole up in the US for a time.

Cooly’s coming on strong in the foodie department, get down there for a good old fashioned feast.

Sidenote: Did you know cattywampus is a word people in the South actually use? Example: The storm knocked the boat cattywampus and it started to take on water. Stay tuned for its appearance in a future story.

LOCATION: Shop 2, 72-80 Marine Pde, Coolangatta
HOURS: 5.30pm until late daily

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Francie’s Pizzeria

Pizza and puns are, without a doubt, two of the best things ever created. Oh and also wine and GUESS WHAT, you can get all of those things at Cooly’s new kid on the block.

In a move that quite frankly has skyrocketed Coolangatta into coolest suburb on the Coast status, Francie’s Pizzeria is bringing over 15 pizza flavours, their own range of wine and a whole lot of soul to the south and we are stoked (and also very full).

The intimate space has all your favourite things, a glossy white brick feature wall, a neon sign, perfectly placed greenery and vintage-style photographs depicting some of the coolest characters in entertainment history. You might even catch a glimpse of owners Claudia and Tony’s model-esque parents and grandparents.

The pair have dubbed their style of eats Neo-nepolitana which we’re pretty sure translates to super delicious and also aesthetically pleasing. All attempts at humour aside, the pair have done their research (tough gig). Prior to opening Tony travelled from New York to Philadelphia to gather ideas and inspiration including paying a visit to Pizzeria Blanco, who are apparently the cult leaders of the pizza world. Hence, the venue being a north American style of pizzeria.

On his travels Tony learnt that the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating big, bold flavours and thus friends, that’s exactly what he did.

Here’s your favourite part: the names of the pizzas are puns and what could be better in the world honestly.

The Pears Brosnan is made with pear, Gorgonzola, speck, thyme and fior de latte. The Fennel Countdown is house made fennel sausage, red onions, parmigano reggiano, tomato and a garlic crumb. The Kale Me Maybe is Tuscan kale, roasted chilli, buttered mushroom, garlic and aged cheddar. Too good.

Get this, there’s also an entirely vegan menu with seven pies, plus entrees and seriously, be still my heart.

Claudia and Tony make their own sourdough, lemonade, sweet tea and hummus (you’ll want to bath in it) and they’ve created something completely unique and perfectly befitting of Cooly’s super chill vibes.

Get it gang.

LOCATION: 102 Griffith St, Coolangatta
HOURS: Wednesday to Monday 11am until 2pm and 5pm to 9.30pm

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

Greenhouse Canteen & Bar

If there’s one thing that’s certain in life, it is that vegetables are very good for you and also, you can never eat too many (unlike say, Tim Tams).

The gals at Greenhouse Canteen know this better than anyone, which is why a second (technically third but more on that later) vegan eatery recently opened in everyone’s favourite southern suburb, Coolangatta.

The Cooly Canteen is as beautiful as you’d expect with rustic wooden dining settings placed amongst a vintage white-walled backdrop. Hanging plants and strings of fairy lights are suspended from the peaked glass ceiling, allowing guests to star gaze and devour gourmet goodies all at once. Bunches of native greenery are strung throughout and the signature, hand-scrawled “it’s cool to be kind” sign sets the scene on the front deck.

The latest venue was opened by long-time Greenhouse Canteen customer and equally passionate, plant-based advocate Jenny Madigan as a franchise of the original space and, of course, it is perfectly befitting of the brand.

The food is to die for (except you won’t die because, veggies) and there are cocktails and desserts and good vibes and catch ya later hard-earned cash.

Choose from small or large eats or a combination of both and for the love of God don’t go past the Eggplant Parmigiana made with baked eggplant, Napoli, basil pesto, almond feta and crispy kale. Also the Buffalo Cauliflower Wings which are besan (gram flower) battered florets with ranch dressing and house-made tomato relish are too tasty to not eat every single day.

Owners of the Miami venue (Charlie and Natalie) were met with rave reviews when they first opened in Kirra and when that venue closed, they made the (blessed) move to Miami.

From there it’s been the Greenhouse gang taking over the world. Hallelujah.

BRB, moving to Cooly.

LOCATION: 1/140 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
HOURS: from 5pm until late Tuesday to Sunday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Eddie’s Grub House

uxtaposed against the sparkling Coolangatta sea is the dark and grungy good-time den that is Eddie’s Grub House.

It’s a New Orleans-style dive bar and rock n roll personified with a dartboard in the corner and chalkboard pillars sporting cheeky messages and tiny works of art. Framed photos of Elvis and the like adorn the back wall while another is stacked high with a collection of spirits the King himself would be proud of.

Put simply Eddie’s Grub House is all the good things you won’t find anywhere else on the Gold Coast and if that’s not enough to persuade you, their new menu definitely will.

Eddie’s war cry reads Whiskey, beer and fried chicken. All Marinated in Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll” and while this is true, burgers and hot dogs are the stars of the latest show.

The Menage Abbatoir consists of an all beef patty, two southern fried chicken tenders, bacon, cheese, an onion ring filled with red cheddar, Coopers Ale BBQ sauce and special sauce – it’s a doozey, good luck. Not quite that brave? The Philly Cheeseburger also packs an all beef patty simply plus cheese, sautéed mushrooms, onions and peppers. The Sloppy Joe Cocker is a beef party, chilli con carne, sour cream and shallots. Prepare to get saucy.

Onto to the hot dogs. They’re all made with Eddie’s signature jalapeno, course ground dogs rammed into a milk bun and served with fries of course. The O.G is literally that – a timeless hot dog classic filled with ketchup, mustard and red cheddar cheese. The Philly Cheese Dog boasts matching ingredients to the burger of the same name but dog-style.

If all that’s not enough to render you useless for the rest of the day add on some Texas Chilli Cheese Fries – they’re coated with Eddie’s fire dust, bacon and scallions and smothered in hot cheese sauce.

Forgive us for we have sinned.

HOURS: Tuesday to Thursday 12pm to 10.30pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm to 12am and Sunday 12pm to 10pm.

LOCATION: 171 Griffith Street, Coolangatta.

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

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