Brisbane’s best bars for the business traveller

18 JANUARY 2023

Looking to wind down after a high-octane conference session, or celebrate a successful business event in style? From intimate wine bars and hidden gems down seemingly unassuming laneways to master mixologists and lavish lounges in opulent heritage buildings, Brisbane has no shortage of options for the delegate in need of some downtime.   

Mr Percival's, Howard Smith Wharves

Brisbane City

Mr Percival’s, Brisbane City   

Brisbane’s first overwater bar, Mr Percival’s is the jewel in the crown of the Howard Smith Wharves precinct, located underneath the famed Story Bridge. With a European beach club aesthetic, picturesque views of the city skyline, cool river breezes and an impressive range of cocktails, boutique wine and local beer, this is the spot to experience a sunset to write home about.   

The Gresham, Brisbane City   

Housed in a heritage-listed building that’s steeped in history – as well as whiskey, rum and wine – The Gresham is a prime spot for a cheeky nightcap after a hard day’s business. With award-winning cocktails and proudly old-school vibes, this is a bar that will give visitors a true taste of Queensland.    

Super Whatnot, Brisbane City   

Tucked away down trend-setting Burnett Lane, Super Whatnot is Brisbane’s original laneway bar. With a Latin American-inspired bar menu, classic and creative cocktails, a range of obscure craft beers and boutique wines, and DJs hitting the decks regularly, this is the spot for a post-event happening with an electric atmosphere.   

Death and Taxes, Brisbane City   

Also hidden down Burnett Lane is this whiskey lovers’ dream, with intimate lighting, 100-year-old floorboards and leather-lined booths that give it a distinctly old-world charm. While they’re best known for whiskey, their expansive back bar also includes plenty of premium gin, rum and other spirits, and they do a mean cocktail, too.   

Alchemy, Brisbane City   

Alchemy’s prime positioning along Brisbane’s river, overlooking the iconic Story Bridge, makes the perfect backdrop for elegant French cuisine paired with a classic drinks list. Looking to go all-out and woo some new business partners? Book a table here.   

Cuvee Lounge Bar, Brisbane City   

If you’ve got work to do but you don’t want to be a recluse in your hotel room, then tapping away on your laptop with a chardonnay in hand is an acceptable feat at Sofitel’s Cuvee Lounge. It’s also got incredible views overlooking the city, so catching up on those tasks you’ve been putting off while you’re in town will barely feel like work.

Glasses and Champagne bottles on a long table at Baedeker
Baedeker, Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley

Cru Bar, Fortitude Valley   

Hop down to the supremely stylish James St, one of Australia’s foremost retail and lifestyle precincts, for a smooth beverage while the sun goes down. Take a seat at the bar under the antique Baccarat chandelier and make your way through the prodigious wine list while you watch the world go by, or tuck into a share plate for a larger business dinner.   

Cloudland, Fortitude Valley   

Exaggerated grandeur and luscious furnishings make this larger-than-life venue a high-end must-visit destination during your stay. Find a small booth upstairs for an intimate setting, or head downstairs to groove among the locals on the dancefloor.   

Baedeker, Fortitude Valley   

Step off the street and into the past at Baedeker, a wine and whiskey bar along Constance St. The second you set foot inside, you’ll feel like you’ve travelled back to an underground bar à la Paris in the 1920s. Better yet, there’s also a secret door inside the venue, behind which you’ll find the ideal space for a business dinner.   

Kazba, Fortitude Valley   

Inspired by the boulevards of Tel Aviv, Kazba will leave you and your fellow delegates feeling like you’re on a secret mission as you sip exotic cocktails hidden inside hollowed-out novels. Made with house-made Middle Eastern cordials, sodas and teas, Kazba’s cocktails are served with a side of theatricality and a heavy dose of soul.   

Cindy Chows, Fortitude Valley   

Hidden behind a secret entrance inside Ling Lings on Brunswick Street, Cindy Chows Theatre & Cocktail Bar is a true speakeasy. It’s a shrine to the mysterious back rooms and underground parlours of 1920s Shanghai, and with its live music and cabaret, antique furniture and mood lighting, as well as signature cocktails like the Birdcage – which are actually served up inside a gilded birdcage – it’s a unique experience that’ll bond you and your fellow delegates for life.    

Bartender serving drinks at Cobbler in West End
Cobbler, West End

South of the river

Soleil Pool Bar, South Bank   

A fabulous bar at Rydges South Bank Hotel that’s just a short stroll from the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. It boasts a bubbly atmosphere and some of the best espresso martinis going around. Choose to stay a little later and you’ll see this bar really pick up speed.   

Maker, South Brisbane   

A small hole in the wall found down South Bank’s Fish Lane, Maker is the place to bask in dark and moody surrounds while sipping on flavoursome creations. Maker is also conveniently just up the road from the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, and a stone’s throw from the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, making it the perfect spot for an after-show drink.   

Cobbler, West End   

Another great option for wetting your whistle with a whiskey, Cobbler has the aesthetic of a painfully hip New York City loft bar, but with a refreshingly down-to-earth attitude and relaxed atmosphere. This award-winning bar offers a large range of malted spirits, which their expert bartenders are known for mixing in innovative and creative ways.   

Landscape image of corporate people having drinks at the Emporium Hotel South Bank rooftop bar