Having lived in Brisbane for umpteen years, the suburb of Albion was not usually a destination suburb of choice - but, rather a suburb one passed through via Sandgate Road, en route to 'other' places of interest.
The inner Brisbane suburb of Albion used to be strictly an industrial area - you know the type: panelbeaters and mechanics being the norm. Located between a large park and a tributary of the Brisbane River, Albion underwent a transformation and now hosts independent retailers, with a penchant for antiques and vintage.
You certainly can't miss the vibrant red exterior of artie & MAI - Image: Elaine de Wet
Our son was on a quick stop-over in Brisbane, so us 'wary of Brisbane traffic' Sunny Coasters, found ourselves in the ever-so-pleasant, tree-lined suburb of Albion. The major Sandgate Road runs right through the middle of Albion, so chances are you've also driven right through before, without a second glance. I was suitably impressed with the charm of this delightful suburb offering a variety of housing styles and quirky cafes.
Quirky and contemporary decor at artie & MAI - Image: Elaine de Wet
And, this is how we came upon artie & MAI, a fully licensed venue, cosily tucked away in Albion Village. Nestled between other quirky outlets and beneath a Tattoo parlour, artie & MAI is not too difficult to spot - with its vibrant red exterior drawing us in like moths to a flame!
artie & MAI'sDaytime Menu consists of traditional breakfast and lunch dishes, delicately spruced up to reflect their own style. The all day breakfast menu and lunch is available from 7.00am to 3.00pm every day of the week. artie & MAI's coffee of choice is Belaroma, unique speciality coffee blends.
I absolutely loved the contemporary decor, deliberately depicting a building not quite complete, with walls that appeared to have just been knocked out, leaving the bare bricks exposed; and walls being prepared for paintwork, which had just been forgotten, giving visitors the overall feel that the importance of serving guests took precedence over everything else. artie & MAI have indoor and outdoor seating and offer visitors such a welcoming ambience, I could well understand their busy-ness on a weekday, mid-morning.
Being mid to late morning, we made our selections from artie & MAI's delectable breakfast menu. Breakfasts of choice ranged from 'Avocado and feta on sourdough, with dukkah, poached egg and rocket' (V) - $16; 'Sauteed mushrooms and spinach on sourdough with poached egg and parmesan' (V, GFO) - $17 and a 'Big brekky - eggs of your choice with bacon, hash cakes, mushroom, roast tomato, housemate baked beans and sourdough - $22. Our food orders were taken promptly and as Murphy's Law would have it, when one is NOT in a hurry, the meal will arrive in record-breaking time! Kudos to artie & MAI for their express delivery of our brekkie, which arrived beautifully presented and as mentioned, very promptly.
Fresh flowers and our assortment of brekkie choices - Images: Elaine de Wet
The licensed artie & MAI stock Australian craft beers, with two Burleigh beers on tap. Bottled beers hail from Burleigh Brewing Co , Murrays Brewing and Holgate Brewhouse. The alcohol beverage menu also offers an equally enticing wine menu with both Australian and New Zealand wines, with a few European mixes for good measure.
Ask about artie & MAI functions - Image: Elaine de Wet
artie & MAI are also available for evening functions seven days a week. With my sticky-beaking around their quirky venue, I came across an intimately private function room, with its contemporary decor very much in-keeping with the fun decor throughout. As far as I understand, the whole venue is available for private functions and the more-than-ample main dining area would comfortably cater to large groups.
If you're looking for a unique venue, in a quirky establishment that offers menu options (see Function packages here) to suit your celebration, why not book your next private function at artie & MAI in Albion. A perfect spot to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or the office Christmas/end of year party. Please address your function enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or email here.
artie & MAI take bookings for reservations, walk-ins (us) are very welcome and even offer take-aways! Street parking was easy to access - I'm not sure if this would still apply on a weekend, when generally everywhere is busier. A limited amount of parking is available via the back lane - it is recommended to take Birkbeck Street, off Sandgate Road and down into Powell Street.
Christmas is coming, have your booked your function yet? Image: Elaine de Wet
I would highly recommend artie & MAI - whether it's for breakfast, lunch or a private function. Its location, quirkiness, service and overall ambience, should warrant it a spot on your highlighted bookmark list, or at least a sticky note!