Thursday, 2 August 2012

Brisbane bars: The Retro Bar, Kenmore

Brisbane’s bar scene had undergone a metamorphosis over the last few years. Thanks to changes in  the liquor licencing laws and perhaps a slight a shift in the city’s personality, great small bars full of character are springing up left right and centre. Canvas, Scratch, SuperWhatnot and Archive spring to mind. If you haven’t been to any of those bars – go no, you’re missing out!

Now the next stage is to get the bars into the suburbs. I’ve heard of both The Junk Bar in Ashgrove and Stockholm Syndrome in Albion that I’m keen to go to. Any takers? But last night, a close friend and I headed out to Kenmore to try The Retro Bar.

Comfy seating and a bit of retro style in the heart of Kenmore.
Photo courtesy of The Retro Bar website.

The Retro Bar is a fully themed bar, with huge leather booths, beautiful retro loungers, eclectic 70s-ish décor and a playlist that included The Rolling Stones, The Who and ABBA.

Chatting to the owner, he told me that The Retro Bar has been open for a year, but I had no idea it existed until Monday. If I still lived in the area I would have been ridiculously excited to have a proper bar to go to rather than the Kenmore Tavern (don’t get me wrong, decent place, chips ok, but cocktail bar it is not).

The Retro Bar has a very extensive cocktail list and I came so close to ordering a martini or a mint slice. However, I was driving so I stuck to wine – a good drop of cabernet sauvignon for $10 a glass. There is only a bar menu on offer but the stuffed squid ($12) and quesadillas ($15) we shared were both very tasty and fresh.

Last night was quiet, just us and three other patrons. However, judging from the website, when they host special events the bar is packed! Movies nights twice a week, themed parties on special occasions. The Retro Bar is The place to be seen in Kenmore.

We can only hope that bars like The Retro Bar continue to pop up in Brisbane’s suburbs, so it will be longer be necessary to head to the CBD or the Valley for a night out. It bodes well for Brisbane as a new-world city to have a vibrant and sophisticated nightlife, even in the middle of suburban soccer fields and supermarkets. If I only have to drive 3 minutes down the road for a well-made fluffy duck, I am a happy and contented woman. 

The Retro Bar on Urbanspoon

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