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Top 5 Friday Wind Down Venues in Brisbane

Home > Brisbane > Food and Wine | Fun Things To Do | Nightlife | Lists
by Tristan Hill (subscribe)
I'm a 27 year old uni student who loves to keep busy in this great city. Follow me as I show you my favourite little places and things to do!
Published July 10th 2012

Nothing beats the feeling of knock off time on Friday, and the best way to get the weekend off to the right start is with a great Friday night wind down spot! Of course there are times when you may feel like nothing more than some take away and a bottle of wine on the couch after a hard week, but for those times when you need to unwind and have a laugh with friends over drinks, there are definitely some places that have the vibe you're chasing. So here in no particular order is a list of my top 5 favourite Friday wind down spots to help you get the weekend off to a cracker.

1 Fishmonger's Wife (East Brisbane)

Now I only came across this place last week after dreading the prospect of cooking after a tough day at the office but apparently they've been making top seafood since 2002. In fact their website even boasts that they have been voted Australia's best fish'n'chip shop in Australia two years running! 'But I want drinks and good times on a Friday night,' I hear you say and that's exactly why this place is a great Friday night wind down spot.

Not only does this place serve amazing seafood, it also has a BYO policy with a bottle shop right next door so you can not only get a great feed for a reasonable price but also have a few attitude adjusters that will help to wash away the weekday blues and get you rolling into the weekend nice and relaxed! Better make sure you book a table if you want to sit inside though, it's pretty popular and is packed out from very early most nights.

2 Garuva Restaurant and Bar (Fortitude Valley)

Garuva is one of those little hole in the wall places that if you didn't know it was there you'd probably walk right by and not know it. Situated on Wickham Tce right next to the Wickham hotel, this place has one of the best wind down vibes going around. The bar is great with plenty of couches and seating to relax but the restaurant is where this place sets itself apart from most other restaurants I've been to. The first difference is that you sit on the floor but there are plenty of cushions and back rests to make your dining experience comfy as well as unique. However, the best thing about this restaurant is that you feel like you're the only group there. They create this feeling by sectioning off every group with curtains around the tables and dim lighting so you can hear other groups of people but can't see them.

On their website they claim to have been voted one of Brisbane's most romantic restaurants and I can certainly see why. Garuva in my mind is a top place to taste some great Asian inspired dishes while enjoying some drinks and good company. It definitely is a top Friday wind down spot that you will be talking about for a long time after. Again, this place is pretty popular so you'll need to book a table in advance but it is well worth the forethought!

3 Zuri Bar & Restaurant (Fortitude Valley)

Now this place can get pretty busy and loud on a Friday night but if you can handle that, it is definitely worth checking out. Serving Japanese inspired dishes, the bar serves from both an a la carte and a lounge menu. I've only ever had the tapas style dishes from the lounge menu, but let me tell you, if you want a good dumpling then Zuri is where you want to go.

Of course, if you just want drinks and no food they can cater for you as well with a nice big bar and plenty of tables to enjoy a drink at. Once again, due to it being a pretty popular place, if you want to go for the a la carte menu you best be booking a table to avoid missing out! All the menus and information can be found at the website along with contact details and photos from the bar.

4 The Press Club (Fortitude Valley)

Located at the top of Brunswick mall just over the road from American Slice (and just next door to Zuri) is one of my favourite bars in the city and definitely a top place to wind down on a Friday night. With a massive floor space filled with plenty of lounges and seating, there isn't too many bars around town that can boast such a relaxed vibe as the Press Club on a Friday night.

From nine every Friday one of Brisbane's best funk cover bands, Capital Groove hits the stage and if you're not relaxed and having a good time by that stage, a few songs into their set will have you feeling nice and de-stressed! For a list of all their upcoming events, find them here.

5 Kerbside Lounge Bar (Fortitude Valley)

I don't mind saying, I can be a little slow on the uptake with finding cool new venues and this is another one of the great places that slipped under my radar for a long time. But alas I've found it and I definitely recommend it! When you first walk in to Kerbside you could definitely be mistaken for thinking you'd walked in to a second hand furniture store with a bar, but throw in the great tunes, the mood lighting and the great artwork all around and you have the perfect recipe for a Friday wind down spot!

Along with a great bar and atmosphere, Kerbside also offers a decent tapas menu, which although I haven't tried, looks great and reasonably priced. This place can get busy but even when it's packed you're still likely to find a spot to sit; it just may mean a bit of a line up for drinks. All in all though, it is a great venue to catch up and unwind after a long week. All the info on where they are, the menus and everything else can be found at their website.

The arrival of Friday knock off is something we all hold our breath for each week and there's no better way to start the weekend than catching up with friends. If you know of any other great Friday wind down places feel free to leave me a message and I'll endeavour to check them out, but these are by far my favourite places at the moment. So this week, why not organise the crew a bit earlier, book a table at one of these top venues and kick things off the right way so that you hit Saturday running and completely free from the stress of work. Roll on Friday!
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Why? Nothing beats the feeling of knock off time on Friday.
Your Comment
All fabulous places (although I haven't done Zuri or Press Club). I neither live near nor visit the city much and am about twice your age but Love Kerbside, Garuva and Fishmonger's Wife, some for the food, some the ambience, some the entertainment and some just the whole darn experience.
Thanks for writing about places that aren't going to cost $50 just to look inside!
by gilli (score: 2|134) 3203 days ago
Hi Gilli,

Thanks for the comment! They are all really great spots to go! Zuri and the press club are great as well, especially the press club if you like your music. I haven't written about places that are expensive because being a Uni student I can't afford to get in!

I've got a few other places that I'm pretty keen on that I will write about soon, so watch this space!

Thanks again!
by Tristan Hill (score: 1|50) 3202 days ago
Thanks for a great article. I'm almost twice your age too but have visited several of the venues you suggested in my past life as a single chick. You've inspired me to take my husband on a date night to the Press Club again. We used to love going there.
by lilly (score: 0|7) 3199 days ago
Great article! Thank you so much for all the great ideas!
by Moniq (score: 0|2) 3196 days ago
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