New whisky bar and eatery set to shake things up in Varsity Lakes

It’s been a minute since we’ve had the pleasure of venturing out Varsity Lakes way but here we are with news from the crew there.

A new venue has arrived and it’s bringing all your whisky sipping, tasty snack eating dreams to life. It’s called The Rusty Barrel and it’s the work of local lad Billy Crean who sought to breathe some newness into Varsity’s bustling little business precinct.

And that he has with a new bar and eatery that’s serving up something quite different to the norm.

You can find The Rusty Barrel just behind Hotel CBD, it’s a 70-seat space with both indoor and outdoor seating areas and a sweet little garden area soon to be overgrown with greenery.

Unsurprisingly, the space is decked out with rum barrels, sourced from Beenleigh Distillery, a mural taking up the length of one wall and a delightful neon sign shining out from another stating “we’re all mad here” and same, to be honest.

Let’s chat drinks first and the cocktail list has been created by local legend Jesse Chan, who knows all of the things about tasty tipples and there are many on it you should sample.

Starting with a Kaffir Lime and Agave-infused Old Fashioned which smells as good as it tastes and (as with many of the cocktails on the list) is infused with a housemade syrup and is so very delicious.

Not only that one though, The Chilli Jam is made with House made chilli tequila, agave, grapefruit and lime and is a little party in your mouth. We also loved the PBJs which is made with Vizor Peanut Butter Schnapps, J Cartron Coconut Liqueur, strawberries, lemon and peanut crumble.

All the good sips guys.

To eat, there are both share-style and keep-to-yourself-style options so you can choose your own adventure in that regard.


Small plate-wise there are dishes like Port Lincoln Kingfish Ceviche with pickled jalapeno, coriander, kaffir lime, avo mousse and beetroot Wagyu, King Prawn and Barramundi Sugarcane Skewers and Koji-marinated Tuna Tartare with Buckwheat Bark. Tasty.

You may also indulge in big old burgers like the Barrel’s Brisket Ragu Burger, the Zucchini and Corn Cheese Burgers and the BBQ Peri Peri Chicken Burger. There’s a tasting trio of sliders if you fancy a little bit of everything.

Not only all of that though, there’ll also be live music on Saturday nights. How fun.

Get into Varsity and give them some love.

LOCATION: 11/228 Varsity Pde, Varsity Lakes
HOURS: Wednesday until Sunday 11.30am until late

Words and photos by Kirra Smith



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