I'm a QBI (Queenslander born interstate) and like to write about things that inspire me in my adopted hometown. Living by choice in the inner southside of Brisbane.
Published June 3rd 2012
For a relaxed evening out in the 'burbs with a difference, you can't go past the revamped and revitalised Green Bar at Coorparoo Bowls Club located at 32 Riddings Road. A group I belong to organised a social evening here, and not knowing what to expect, I turned up on a Friday evening and found my group's table.
It didn't take long for me to notice that this is not just any old bowls club. First of all, they serve a really nice house white by the glass, a crisp NZ Sauvignon Blanc that is a cut above your average house white and at $5 a glass, still at "bowls club" prices. The clientele was surprisingly mixed, and while I didn't see any babies there, just about every other age group was represented.
So with my group table found, extra chairs organised for the stragglers and my wine sorted, soon the open mike evening got underway. This was getting to be fun. First up were the "Ukeladies", two ukelele-playing women who were very entertaining. It was really relaxed – some kids got up to dance and the performers were duly applauded, but it was not "do or die" or anything. Just locals who like to play a bit of music getting up to do their thing for a few songs and then letting the next performers have a go.
We got to hear some good musicians across a range of styles. I think my favourite was the sing-a-long led by an open mike "regular" who managed to get the audience singing along to John Lennon's "Imagine". I admit this was heaps of fun and seemed to connect the audience who were all looking around and smiling at each other as we joined in the chorus: "You may say I'm a dreamer ..."
The open mike rotation was well organised, and there was certainly no shortage of "talent" wanting to get up and give it a go.
While I was getting my second glass of wine, I chatted to Tanya at the bar who it turns out is the club Functions Manager.
She was happy to tell me the story of the club, which is an interesting one. Struggling as a traditional bowls club a while back, the management had pretty much given up. It just so happened that an enterprising local was interested in keeping the venue going, but he wanted to revamp the place and make it more relevant to the local area and make it a place the community could become involved in. So "The Green Bar" was born, and they haven't really looked back since.
The place was certainly a hive of activity the evening I was there, with a noticeably friendly vibe to it. You just can't help but feel relaxed here. Business is booming, and they have done it without the dreaded pokies, which I applaud. This makes the place even more family-friendly.
The menu is simple, but reasonably priced with everything made to order in the open kitchen. My vegetable lasagne was very good and the others at my table were very happy with their meals too.
The pool table was popular and I noticed one of those hand operated soccer game tables was keeping some patrons amused.
Another group was lounging on some big leather sofas in the seating area that also has a full bookcase behind it. It seems like it serves as a bit of a drop-in centre for the locals to come and have a meal, a drink, and relax in a variety of ways.
They still play bowls here, including the "barefoot" kind. And they even offer night bowls, with glow-in-the-dark balls. Tanya says they have hosted quite a few wedding receptions, and are soon to host their first full-blown wedding complete with celebrant. It seems the locals have really embraced the Coorparoo Bowls Club and The Green Bar and I believe word is spreading …
And rightly so.
For more details check their website.