The endeavour to build a suburban craft beer bar in Brisbane is undoubtedly a bold one. The market for the good stuff has increased in recent years, certainly, but breaking the mould outside of key city precincts is by no means an easy feat. Nor is a DIY renovation of an office space into a dive bar, but the folks behind Fitz+Potts leapt both of these monumental hurdles together to create something exceptional.
Nestled north of the CBD near the airport sits Fitz+Potts, the physical encapsulation of their “just like home” bar philosophy. The bar is a second storey retreat from the main street of Nundah, complete with a wraparound deck ideal for people watching and whatever else people do on decks. A DIY project from the beginning, it is a hat-tip to the traditional speakeasy environment and a masterful homage to the the classic aesthetics of the 1970s.
Hailing from a blend of backgrounds in teaching, hospitality, management, interior design, beer repping and more, its owners had a plethora of invaluable experience to call upon.
Cassie (the Potts of the title)’s experience in interiors really shines through in the bar aesthetics; each room of the house really has its own incredible personality. Nearly every wall is darned in textured vintage wallpapers that grasp eclectic artwork, while the hardwood floorboards support an abundance of retro lounges, coffee tables and armchairs. Essentially, it matches with ease every design from Terence Conran’s 1974 publication The House Book (which is absolutely worth a gander, by the way). To paraphrase for the press: it’s glorious for the eyeballs.
With six rotating taps, as well as a short but solid bottle list to tempt the beer geeks, the emphasis is on inclusion; there’s something for everybody. The back bar provides patrons with the dangerous option of boilermakers thanks to a rad showcase of Australian spirits, from gin to rum, rum to whisky, whisky to vodka and everything in between (vermouth, duh). As long as it’s fermented, there’s a place for it at Fitz+Potts and a simple calendar check on their website reveals the dates of brewery tap takeovers and Meet the Maker events.
The food on offer supports the well crafted assembly of liquid fermentables. Every menu is subject to change, sure, but the collection of savoury snacks and jaffles looks like they’re set to stay. Vegan? They’ve got your back. Gluten free? No problem. You can eat both anything AND everything? Mate, you’re going to have a blast.
Brisbane’s craft beer culture has certainly come into its own over the last five years and the formation of Fitz+Potts is, like the handful of other suburban bars stippled around the city, an important step for the future of good beer in this humble city. It’s well-earned treat for locals, the self-appointed “Nundah-ners”, and a true representation of recognising your local community and working for (and with) them to create an inclusive environment that supports quality over quantity.
So do yourself a favour, catch the train out, stride up those steps and settle in. Oh, and they allow dogs, the superior species to us, on the deck, so if you weren’t sold before (impossible), you will be now.