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if there was a new venue in Brisbane

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NewFarmer +

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Default if there was a new venue in Brisbane
I've been talking semi-seriously with a few people about the possibility of opening a gay and lesbian small bar for some time. It arose from a couple of us discussing that there seems to be a hole in the market and that it's been years since a new venue was attempted. I think sporties, the Wick, the Beat and Fluffy do an amazing job and enjoy them very much, but can't help but feel that the gay community is missing out on the developments of small bars around Brisbane.

I also get concerned that, for the most part, Brissy venues aren't really somewhere I would take my straight friends, which bothers me as it means I often have to cleave my night in two. I think there is absolutely room for a bar which is away from the Valley and focussed on the gay and lesbian community and is welcoming to our straight friends.

All of that, and I have some time on my hands and think it could be a good project for a bit, nothing ventured nothing gained.

Identifying a gap is one thing but what to fill it with is another. If there was a new venue around, what would you like to see that you don't currently? What's the look and the feel and the vibe you think could be offered?

Just to be really clear, I am absolutely not asking for a litany of problems with existing venues, they work very hard to deliver a really great service to the community and I commend them for it.
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I'd like to see more of a classy lounge bar type, somewhere to go and just have quiet drinks with like minded people.
Mood lighting, lounges, alternative music, and out of the Valley.

If there's one thing I miss about Melbourne, it's the intimate feel of some of the bars, which comes with being both smaller & different from everything mainstream. I think something similar would do very well in Brisbane.
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I think places like the Lychee Lounge and Three Monkeys (both in West End) are good examples of small venues with a good atmosphere and a strong following, both gay and straight. They must be doing something right. Each of them has created a unique 'vibe' that's a bit different to other places.

Obviously Three Monkeys is a cafe and not a bar, but a small bar with a similar feel would probably work pretty well.

I've had a lot of friends comment that there seems to be a lack of places in Brisbane to go after dinner and/or movies to have a quiet drink in nice surroundings. The main options seem to be cafes (OK for coffee/tea, not so good if you want other drinks), or standard bars/nightclubs, which are typically fairly loud and not really designed for the 'quiet drink' scenario.

Small, cool, stylish bars of the type you're talking about are easy to find in Europe and the USA, but not in Brisbane.

Of course, if you set up a small, cool bar like this I expect you'd be pretty busy with general clientele so I'm not sure how you'd make it specifically a "gay and lesbian" small bar, or if it would really matter that much.

Anyway, I think it's a great idea! (And yes, outside the Valley would be good.)
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There was that new gentleman's club that opened up in Spring Hill in the middle of last year. T bar in South Brisbane just celebrated their first birthday or something. Frankly there are enough places to get shit faced and pitty yourself. How about a quiet place for some of us to take in some knowledge about queer culture and history?? Start spreading some work of local queer artists, writers and film makers.

There is a place in Melbourne and a similar place in Sydney called 'Hares&Hyenas' and I had always wanted to operate something just like it, so discovering it made me moist. Its a queer cafe/bookstore and its as close to Castro as this country gets... It is depressing that pretty much all of Australia's recognised gay landmarks are known for completely the wrong reasons.

And I would suggest the Valley for that as its a hub of queer activity already. Along the strip where the beat is, probably as close to Universal as possible on Anne St as it has the heaviest motor and foot traffic to be exposed to. (I have thought a lot about this).

You would have people in the evenings popping in there for a coffee to wait for their friends to head into the Beat or Wickham, or even earlier to meet new people and catch up where its quiet-er. A new home for Brisbane's queer book club to meet and expand with new members. A new home for Q-Sesh where it can be appreciated more. People looking to advertise their events, productions and workshops. The business possibilities are endless.

Last edited by atomic-teddy: 28th February 2012 at 06:46 PM

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Also a lot of younger guys, don't like the current venues. The reasons are Beat - trashy scene. Wickham - not intimate. Sporties - too scary. They are after, british pub style meaning cosy and stylish no loud music, a place to chill and chat.
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Thats totes what we're looking for. Which is why I always get eyed from guys down in Mick O'Malleys. I will never complain.
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I like those type of pub style places, the ones that play good 90s music and similar. But I like what you wrote further up atomic-teddy, combining it as a book club too. Although I wouldn't like it to be along Ann St, or anywhere close to the Beat/Universal since it's such a busy place, you'd wanna have a more relaxed atmosphere that caters to a niche audience in the 'gay community'.
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I'm always up for a new bar to go to, I do think you would need to be careful about how you position it. The line between Queer friendly/orientated and straight exclusionary can be very difficult to manage. Subtelty would be the key... as an example consider the Alibi room... Whilst it is more of a gay-friendly straight place, it would be along the lines of what I think works well... just tip the balance towards more gay patrons, but Straight people could go there by themselves as well without feeling intimidated.

Whilst a new style bar may attract some of the gays that don't usually go out, you need to consider that your main trade (particularly earlier in a night) would have to be sourced from us trashbags that already attend the Wick/Sporties/Beat and topped up with Straights.
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Lol, and lets face it. Brisbane queers are rather cheap.
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I'm always up for a new bar to go to, I do think you would need to be careful about how you position it. . . .balance towards more gay patrons, but Straight people could go there by themselves as well without feeling intimidated.

Whilst a new style bar may attract some of the gays that don't usually go out, you need to consider that your main trade (particularly earlier in a night) would have to be sourced from us trashbags that already attend the Wick/Sporties/Beat and topped up with Straights.



Andrew makes some good points

I reckon the kind of atmosphere you're striving for might work best as an early evening or knock-off-of-work type establishment as opposed to a late night venue. Perhaps more of a cafe-bar scenario which is open during the day for brekky and lunches and then something like drinks and tapas (or other nibblies) in the evening?????

I would be careful about spreading it out too far.

Wickham, Brunswick, Ann streets are clearly an established nightlife precinct. If the aim is to attract the Wick/Beat/Sporty punters for 'predrinks' then I think that there would be much to be gained by locating the new business within that area. There's not much point in re-inventing the wheel in this regard.

Likewise the Brunswick Street Mall DOES draw the crowds to its bars and eating places. So your numbers of potential customers are already there - you won't have to convince punters to go someplace where they wouldn't be going anyhow. Locating here you have the advantage that they're in the area already, but the new business offers a new experience in familiar surrounds.

I think Brunswick street (the drivable part) has excellent potential (perhaps around the arts centre) and can see the existing collection of restaurants continuing to grow - perhaps with the addition of smaller specialty shops for greater day-time activity.

Its also pretty clear that Wickham street could do with some new and nicer enterprises opening up along it, but is primed for that kind of improvment.

On a final note, the kind of establishment which seems to be envisioned ought to be something truly original and not a copy-cat knock off of someplace else, and to fit into the Brisbane fabric - not a superimposition from the context of Melbourne -or anyplace else - as has been suggested.

Fanstastic concept and I hope it flies for you! :-)
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I personally would looove to see a gay-friendly licenced cafe - like days and evenings, kind of similar to 'Moon Cafe' in Perth. Like if I wanted to go to a trendy cafe where I'd feel comfortable without the sleazy vibe, I'd probably be a regular customer
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My personal preference would be more of a pub - thinking beer garden, no pumping beats, food etc.

The beer garden at The Court in Perth is a good example

That said im a sucker for Irish pubs
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Quote:

Originally Posted by atomic-teddy View Post

Lol, and lets face it. Brisbane queers are rather cheap.

So now, you have to Pay-to-be-Gay???
News to me that attraction has a set minimum spend.
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Well i would recommend, the area for that as its a hub of queer action already. Along the remove, where the defeat is probably as near to Worldwide, as possible on angel st as it has the biggest engine and visitors to come in contact with.
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A lounge bar with lots of really comfy sofas with dimmed lighting would be good, and please no loud music.
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This is what happens when straight people go to Gay bars.

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Montpellier +

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Default New to same same
Having just joined same same and as of yet not living in Brisbane
Moving there in March. At present living in France
I was very interested in the article : if there was a new venue in Brisbane
I know that this was written Feb 2012 so a lot must have happened during this time
My comments are probably very out dated but I agree it would be wonderful to have a bar ~ cocktail lounge that one could go to with a mixed group. I know all gay venues happily accept everybody but we have very few places,to my knowledge where you can have a quite drink. In saying that Sydney over the years have opened cocktail bars but seem to have closed just as quick because of lack of people or very quickly turned them into bars that would attract people under 30 to make a success It appears to me anybody over thirty doesn't go out or only wants to go to the more youthful venues Correct me if I am wrong .
Parts of Europe does certainly have a different attitude to going out and having a drink and most bars that I have been to in Copenhagen ,Helsinki and here in Montpellier are very mixed some are very quite and some are noisy you have a choice and are fantastic I know because of high apartment living in Europe most people are out every night and the bar is part of there daily living
This in its self changes attitudes to going to bars wether it be gay or mixed or straight Most couldn't care less
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I love the idea of having a gay cocktail lounge. Somewhere for the 24-30year old homosexual crowd to enjoy a drink, have a chat and relax, rather than going to a nightclub.
Random question. Do you think it would it be off putting if the bar was close to a heterosexual strip club?
NewFarmer +

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i think it would need to be attractive to guys well over 30 too. And depends what you mean by close? Like same street or same neighbourhood?
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Next door?
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