Perfect modern urban pub that combines food, drinks & fun
Despite the much-publicised death of the Fortitude Valley party scene, 2017 has seen a record number of bars opening around Brisbane. On October 5, one of them was the Osbourne Hotel. This pub has been reborn to combine cool style, a relaxed pub feel, a wide-ranging mid-priced menu and a great selection of drinks. This is a modern pub done well.
There has been a pub on the corner of Ann and Constance Streets in the valley since 1864, though the current building that replaced the original building has more of an art deco feel with a clean streamlined look that still manages to say "this is a pub."
The bar has been owned by the Fitzgibbon family since 1984 and in the last incarnation of this pub it was called the Fringe Bar. But changes are afoot in the valley with more places, especially around James Street, heading upmarket. The pub was refurbished and restyled to cater for people looking for something between the grungy bars int the heart of the valley and the overly trendy places that are popping up.
The refurbishment has transformed this bar that was once referred to as 'The Dead Rat' and 'Rat & Parrot' into a trendy but still welcoming bar. Combining light colours, plenty of wood, a high roof and plenty of greenery, it has a very relaxed feel about it, especially during the day when the skylight ceiling lets in natural light.
The beer garden out the back is a little disappointing as far as beer gardens of Brisbane go, however, they have done well within the space that they have available. In particular, the great use of colourful murals to make the walls that loom over the back garden more friendly.
The small beer garden at the Osbourne Hotel is brought to life by walls covered by murals
There is also a lovely little lounge bar at the front that is perfect for people looking for a relaxed place to enjoy a drink with friends or someone special. Each of the pub's areas - the bistro, beer garden and lounge - all have their own special feel.
So, of course, they have all the modern and classic pub favourites, such as beer battered fish, salads, burgers, pizza, steak and char grill. But the menu also includes a range of things to look out for, such as empanadas, tuna potato salad, goats cheese tarts and duck fat potatoes. Yes, your bogan uncle and hipster cousin will both find things that they want to try on the menu.
The price of meals range from $15 through to $42 with every price range well represented on the menu. From Sunday to Monday, there are $15 specials that will bring in the budget conscious especially at lunchtime.
Bar & Drinks
There are over 20 beers on tap, though most are mainstream. An extensive wine list and a cocktail menu focus on sweet flavours. This is not your hipster bar, but really just a modern mainstream pub that caters to a wide range of people.
Expect DJs and live music on Friday nights and 'Paws & Pints' events where you are encouraged to share a drink with your dog (you should do the drinking, though your pet will enjoy a beer or two). Sporting events will regularly feature on the big screen TV.
DJs and live music are a regular feature of Friday nights at the Osbourne Hotel
The valley and the surrounding area have a wide range of bars, pubs and clubs to choose from, so with any new venue the question comes down to, will this new bar attract and keep customers? The simple answer would seem to be yes.
The Osbourne channels the core essence of what a pub should be, that is, a place for everyone. It has a wide-ranging and eclectic menu that serves your old favourites along with new things to try at upmarket pub prices, while keeping the price affordable for anyone who wants to go out without breaking the bank.
I genuinely believe that this bar will become a regular for many people, either as a place to have drinks after work, party on the weekends or have a nice meal at a reasonable price.
The author attended the opening as a guest of the Osbourne Hotel