Heritage and Happy Hours in Brisbane City - Visit Brisbane


Heritage and Happy Hours in Brisbane City

Brisbane City is home to heritage-listed spaces that will transport you to a different time and place. Luckily for us quite a few of these old-world gems serve a solid martini and pop champagne bottles on the reg. What better way is there to discover the heritage of Brisbane than with a drink in hand (especially during happy hour)?  


Customs House 


Not only does Customs House have an incredible view but it is also steeped in history. In the nineteenth century custom houses were built in all major ports across Australia. An important source of revenue, these buildings were responsible for levying goods from overseas for customs and excise duties. Nowadays Customs House offers lunch and dinner, high tea and seasonal pop-up bars. best seasonal pop-up bars. 


The Boom Boom Room

The Boom Boom Room is a unique lounge bar offering avant-garde design and an elevated cocktail list. Originally known as the Queensland Government Insurance Building this heritage-listed building has recently been transformed into a hotel. The bar is located in the basement of 171 George St, where the building’s bank vaults once were. Boom, shake, shake, shake the room - choose a cocktail that has been designed around iconic songs from bygone eras and reminisce about past times in the opulent booths. *Disclaimer cocktails may not be named after The Fresh Prince.  


The Gresham 

The Gresham Bar


Located on the edge of Gresham Lane, The Gresham was originally a NAB building, constructed in 1881. The interior of the ambient bar reflects the original character of the building, with chesterfield couches, rich mahogany furniture, and historic photos on the walls.


The Gresham is also the only bar in Queensland to hold a Heritage Bar License, so even though it doesn’t offer happy hour, the location and drinks are so great you won’t notice. Choose something from the award-winning bar’s extensive drinks menu of rum, whisky, wine and cocktails, and kick back into a leather couch. Read more about The Gresham’s interesting history here (with a drink in hand obviously).

Walter’s Steakhouse

The timeless interior, featuring dark wood paneling, rich red leather upholstery and brass rails, will have you feeling like you’re in old world New York. Trading from midday to midnight six days a week, Walter’s Steakhouse has an extensive bar menu. Begin your experience at Walter’s with the Mineral House Cocktail, featuring salt and pepper vermouth, bitters and subtle apricot and sweet spices.

Embassy Craft Beer Bar 

Embassy Bar

Tucked into the heritage-listed building on Elizabeth Street, Embassy Craft Beer Bar are the purveyors of craft beer and quality food. Retaining the classic feel of a bygone era, the beer bar is complete with exposed brick walls, industrial lighting installations and unique art pieces.


Treasury Brisbane


The Treasury Building is one of Brisbane City’s most-cherished heritage buildings. Previously known as the New Public Offices, The Treasury was used by Queensland Government Cabinet until 1905. After 1905 the Treasury Building was sold to form Treasury Brisbane. Raise a glass to this bygone era of grand buildings at one of Treasury’s great bars’ Ryan’s on the Park, LiveWire and Centre Bar.


Elizabeth Picture Theatre

Elizabeth Picture Theatre


For a different sort of heritage and happy hour head to Elizabeth Picture Theatre. The heritage-listed building was originally built in 1879, and in 1919 was purchased by the Queensland Irish Association (QIA). In 2015, the building was refurbished to become the Elizabeth Picture Theatre as it stands now. Sip on a glass of Il Fiore Prosecco (our personal choice) and transport yourself to a different time with live piano on every Friday in the Presidents Room.

Corbett & Claude 

Corbett & Claude laneway

Built in 1906, Telecommunications House is a heritage-listed former clubhouse, often known as Corbett Chambers, located at 283 Elizabeth Street. Nowadays, the federation-style building houses Corbett & Claude in the basement. The laneway bar serves up wood-fired pizzas, share plates and antipasti complemented by a selection of sparking, white and red wines with a vast assortment of craft beers.

Grand Central Hotel

Located in the heart of Brisbane CBD, the old-world pub was opened in 1901 and previously provided refreshment rooms for travellers. Changes to Central Station saw the Grand Central Hotel undergo many renovations and changes. Intertwined to Brisbane history, The Grand Central Hotel was renovated in 2005, to include the Dining Car and Platform Bar. For the full history click here

By Brittany Mohr

Brittany’s ultimate weekend involves wine (rosé) and cheese (manchego) at La Lune, seeing a live show and going for a wander along the Brisbane River. Passionate about the leafy Western suburbs, she’s a lady of fine tastes so naturally her best kept secret is #treatingyo'self to a session at luxe day spa One Wybelenna. Bliss.

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