The subtropical climes of Queensland blesses Brisbane with some of the most rooftop bar-friendly weather in the world. But here, paradisal conditions alone aren’t enough to hold a rooftop bar above the competition. You need vision, panache and that x-factor to set it all off.
It’s no surprise then that Brisbane’s sky-high bar scene is growing faster than you can say: “I love these warm isobars!” Welcome to six of the best rooftops in Brisbane.
757 Ann St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
Barely on the scene a year and Eleven brags all the swank and swagger of a seasoned star player. An exceptional fit-out – equally suitable for large bookings in one of the many leather or wooden seated dining booths, unwinding after work drinks on the sofa, or a romantic date – the space has the depth of nuance to accommodate all kinds of occasions, whether it be eating, drinking, or both.
A lovely peppering of shrubbery, stone-clad walls, a nice variation of seating (cork-shaped stools, high tables, sofas etc) and, above all, mixologists with the knowhow to guide you to your perfect tipple. They pride themselves on classics with a twist, so come ready to walk your favourite flavours along the scenic route. If you’re a Negroni fan, for example, try the Sbagliato – Negroni – minus the gin and replaced with Pinot Chardonnay Cinzano – a beautiful alternative for those looking for a more delicate version of its better-known, full-flavoured father.
For fans of Old Fashioneds and Martinis, each have their own dedicated flow chart in the drinks menu to help you build the anatomy of your favourite cocktail. It’s also refreshing to see the smoking area isn’t just an afterthought: cosy, with a beautifully uplit feature tree dressed with birdcages, make for sexy smoking surrounds at sundown. The 11th floor city views are pretty darn special too.
42 Constance St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
Rooftop bars don’t make more of a splash than Limes. If it’s sky-high hot tub action you’re after, pack your trunks and plunge into one of two large spas and get boozy in the jacuzzi. Be ready for peak-time party vibes as the “hot tubs get pretty loose”, according one barman. House DJs on weekends, a BBQ, decent – though not extensive – selection of fizz, spirits and beer, all point towards a wet and wild night out.
A simple, uncluttered interior and a bright and airy main bar area means you can chill away from any potential hot tub havoc around the corner. They have an upcoming renovation on the cards too, so expect some nice additions like seating booths and more garden vibes. Another plus is that you can kick back and settle into a good film during their open air summer movie season (bit of a way off I know, but don’t say I didn’t warn you).
#3 Lennons Pool & Terrace Bar
72 Queen Street, Level 2, Brisbane QLD 4000
It’s not quite a Will Smith “welcome to Miami”, but it is a Lennons Pool Terrace “welcome to a Miami-style infinity pool over Brisbane’s Queens Street Mall”. Yeah, his was probably catchier. Here you can wine, dine and lounge by the 25 metre infinity pool until 10pm, with the bar running on until midnight, and soak up the ambiance just feet above the hustle and bustle of the busy commercial district of Queens Street below.
Staple cocktails: check. A solid wine list: check. And modern Australian dishes: check (the terrace upstairs has a separate menu to the restaurant downstairs, but the staff are more than happy to deliver restaurant dishes to the pool terrace if you insist on mermaiding it through dinner). It’s worth getting involved with their Pooltino night too, where every Friday you can rumba your way through a latin-themed party teeming with tapas and drinks to match.
99 Mary St, Brisbane QLD 4000
New kids on the block need to make an impression. So when Sazerac raise a glass they do it from the 30th floor of the Four Points Hotel with eye-popping cityscape views. It’s technically not a rooftop bar, but with towering views like these – and it is colossal – who in their right mind is going to grumble?
Launching in April, Sazerac’s focus is on crafting high quality cocktails, and, as the name suggests, particularly that of the oldest known American concoction of rye whisky and cognac there is. Not only are the views spectacular and the cocktails produced to perfection but they certainly know how to get in your culinary good books as well. Every Friday between 5pm-6pm the chef sends out complimentary share plates for all patrons. Free food to go with your Friday night cocktails? Go on then. And if whisky’s your bag make sure you check in on a Monday night: 25 per cent off all whiskeys, a choice of 30 from around the world. You really can’t go wrong with a full-bodied, punchy Nikka from the Barrel.