Gerard’s Reopens on James Street with New Look and Menu

After months of eager anticipation, Gerard’s has finally reopened. Dropping “Bistro” from its name, Gerard’s is ushering in a new era while still honouring its legacy as one of the dining institutions along James Street.

Read: Gerard’s Bistro Appoints New Executive Chef, Will Introduce New Menu and Revamped Look Soon

After closing for renovations from June to November 2023, the newly refreshed Gerard’s offers some exciting changes while still remaining the beloved neighbourhood gem loyal patrons have cherished for years.

Although diners can still expect the intimate ambiance and gracious service they are recognised for, the dining room has been stunningly transformed to transport guests to the exotic lands of the Mediterranean.

The dining room walls pay homage to ancient ruins of the Levant, Ottoman Empire, and Roman civilisations, bathed in deep red hues reminiscent of the rich, terra cotta soils found in that region.

Chef Jimmy Richardson (Photo credit: Gerard’s/Facebook)

Leading the kitchen is new Executive Chef Jimmy Richardson, whose impressive resume includes senior roles at acclaimed restaurants like Shangri-La Sydney’s Altitude, The Bridge Room, Café Paci, and Sydney’s Park Hyatt.

Photo credit: J T/Google Maps

Standout new menu items include The Barbari bread, adorned with reduced whey and oregano, accompanied by smoked labneh. The Bateman’s Bay rock oysters, kissed by erk soos vinegar, provide a refreshing delight. Carnivores will rejoice at the Lebanese cured pork belly, a masterpiece of complex spices and melt-in-your-mouth richness.

Photo credit: J T/Google Maps

Gerard’s has always been known for their curated selection of local wines, but they have now expanded their offerings to include international varietals as well, with an emphasis on Mediterranean styles that pair beautifully with Chef Richardson’s dishes.

Read: Award-Winning Chef Martin Boetz Presents Short Grain Restaurant in Fortitude Valley

It’s not so much the start of an entirely new era, but perhaps the opening of an exciting new chapter for this beloved neighbourhood gem. Gerard’s is now accepting reservations via their website, so book your table soon to be one of the first to experience the revived restaurant’s singular charm and celebrated cuisine.

Published 24-November-2023

Shop, Feast, and Dance the Season Away on James Street

From holiday shopping nights to DJ sets to five-course feasts, Fortitude Valley’s James Street has something for everyone. Get out your calendar and save the date for three buzzworthy events coming up this November and December.

Read: Newly Renovated GPO Building Now Home to Tama Restaurant and The Gatsby Lounge Bar

Get Gifting on James Street

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Forget the usual Christmas gift socks and join Living Edge on James Street on Thursday, November 23 to fill up your holiday stocking with stylish homewares. Their VIP Shopping Night from 4:00 –8:00 p.m. will feature festive sips, special offers, and surprises on hot items like the Nuage vase, Eames elephant decor, and FLOS Bellhop lamp. As Living Edge says, everyone’s a VIP in their book so no RSVP is needed to enjoy the fun.


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LEV X LOS equals a mighty fine time when two top DJ talents team up on Saturday, November 25. Levi Birks, who spun tracks at previous James Street events like Up Late and the Food & Wine Trail, joins forces with Dan Mumbles, formerly of Gerard’s Bar, for a night of sips and sounds at LOS from 6:30–11:30 p.m. Bring your friends and dancing shoes — no RSVP needed!

Friday Feasts 

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The Green will bring back their popular Dark Green Dinner Series just in time for summer with new globally-inspired tasting menus each Friday starting December 1. Head Chef Dan Anderson’s opening five-course Lebanese-themed menu on December 1 boasts babaganoush, mechoui spiced lamb shoulder, and more. Feast your eyes on the full menu and book your tickets for what will surely be a delicious summer ahead.

Read: Brooki Bakehouse Fortitude Valley Gains Instant Recognition Thanks to TikTok

Whether you’re looking to cross some names off your gift list, dance the night away, or tantalise your taste buds, James Street has something for all interests and tastes as Brisbane swings into the summer spirit. So be sure to calendar or bookmark these three buzzed-about events and keep an eye out for more celebrations headed to the James Street neighbourhood.

Published 21-November-2023

Appeal Over Approved Commercial Building On James Street

A Brisbane firm has lodged an appeal to the Planning and Environment Court to refuse planning permission for a previously approved six-storey commercial building on James Street in Fortitude Valley.

Read: New Year, New Name as Evita Fortitude Valley Becomes ‘Rumba’

Citing various issues, Jezreel Pty Ltd and Matthew Sorbello has filed a notice of appeal against Brisbane City Council’s approval of developer Forme One Pty Ltd’s plans for a six-storey building at 75-85 James St in Fortitude Valley.

Plans for the building include a food and drink outlet, shop, office, and bar. BCC granted approval for the building in November 2022.

Artist’s impression for proposed development at 75-85 James St, Fortitude Valley (Photo credit: Richards & Spence/Brisbane City Council) 

Mr Sorbello filed the appeal on 13 December, citing grounds that include the alleged;y inappropriate height and scale for its locality, and the loss of existing on-street car parking spaces in Harcourt Street.

“The proposed development, by the provision of a bar, seven retail tenancies and seven office tenancis is inconsistent with New Farm Plan overall outcome, which seeks to ensure that the James and Arthur streets sub-precinct remains a secondary neihgbourhood centre,” the appeal reads.

Mr Sorbello’s family is known for running businesses throughout Brisbane, including the Merthyr Village Shopping Centre in New Farm.

Photo credit: Richards & Spence/Brisbane City Council

Among their claims is that the bar, which would operate between 12:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. is inconsistent with community expectations for the locality.

During the public notification period, the DA received a total of 19 submissions from residents, most of which are objecting to the proposed development. 

Aside from the demolition of blocks of units along James St, the development would also entail knocking down three pre-1911 character buildings, a decision that locals believe would have an impact on the existing local character of the area.

Read: $7-Million Revamp of GPO Hotel to Introduce New Fine Dining Venue in Early 2023

Further updates regarding the notice of appeal for 75-85 James Street, Fortitude Valley can be checked via Council’s website, with the application number A005834091.

Agnes Bakery in Fortitude Valley is Brisbane’s New Favourite

Have you been to Agnes Bakery? This new bakery on James St in Fortitude Valley isn’t hard to find. Just look for the queue of people waiting to get in, Wednesdays to Sundays. When people line up for their brekky even before the store opens, that’s when you know you’re on to something good.

Agnes Bakery, which started welcoming customers in late October 2021, takes pride in making everything in-house from scratch so that every batch of baked treats is served warm and fresh daily.

From the crusty loaves of sourdough bread, perfectly burnt yet creamy Basque cheesecakes, comforting choux buns, and delightful kouign-amanns, every bite of goodies that come from the bakery’s wood-fired oven leave a satisfying taste that lingers…no wonder many customers come back for more!

Photo Credit: AgnesBakery/Facebook
Photo Credit: AgnesBakery/Facebook

Curiously, however, the bakery wasn’t in the plan for the owners. Experienced hospitality operators Ben Williamson, Ty Simon, and Frank Li — who run popular Brisbane restaurants like Same Same, Honto, and Bianca — initially set their sights on opening a restaurant (also called Agnes).

However, things changed when the hospitality industry took a big hit during the pandemic. Not to be discouraged, the operators decided to shift gears and use their Agnes Restaurant spot as a pop-up bakery, opened during limited hours only, in August 2020 until the pandemic panic subsided. Amidst social distancing guidelines, customers lined up for the limited offering which has prompted the owners to consider expanding their business plan to include the bakery. 

“One of the concepts we have started to explore more is how the use of fire applies to working with ancient and sustainably grown grains, and how it can add to the complexity of flavours in sourdough and pastries, both sweet and savoury,” the owner said. “On top of this, we wanted to provide people with the opportunity to enjoy some of the wares we serve at Agnes restaurant, within a casual setting.” 

As things fell into place, the former Agnes Bakery pandemic pop-up became a stand-alone, permanent site and not merely an extension of Agnes Restaurant, with 14 bakers in the kitchen and 10 staff at the frontline. The group also formulated an enhanced menu filled with more appetising choices. 

Apart from the pop-up favourites, Agnes Bakery also offers smoked potato braid, heaps of danishes (potato/rosemary, apple crumble, and blueberry/citrus, among other flavours), as well as a rotating mix of cake slices, flans, cookies, and savoury muffins and pizzettes. Soon, the bakery will also introduce a lunch range featuring ciabatta sandwiches. 

Photo Credit: AgnesBakery/Facebook

For those on the clock, the bakery has a convenient coffee window for quick orders.

Photo Credit: Joseph Cosico/Google Maps

Agnes Bakery opens Wednesday to Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Follow their Facebook page for updates. 

“Everything is excellent and can’t wait till they add some more condiments and things. They make stuff you don’t really see in Australia (like pithivier) which is fun as well.”

Ben E

“OMG!  This beautiful bakery is an absolute gem!  I called in at the end of their 1st day (my interest was sparked as I drove past in the morning and there was a 100-meter line-up of peeps down James St).  This place must have something going for it.  I was not disappointed.  The young, cheerful girl who greeted me was very knowledgeable on the delights available.  I purchased a blackberry and blueberry and passion fruit with melted marshmallow Kouign-amann.  Supercalifragilisticepialidocious is an apt word for my experience of this pastry delight.  From the crispy outer layers of glazed pastry to the inner taste bud tingling cream patisserie, I was completely lost in indulgent heaven.”

Samantha Hutchison

New Foodie and Plant Lover Paradise The Green to Open on James Street

In mid-2020, Green Space opened a pop-up shop on James St which quickly became a hit with both plant lovers and foodies. Now opening at a permanent location on the same street, The Green will include a Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant conceptualised by an internationally acclaimed designer, with two-time Chef Hat winner Warren Turnbull in the kitchen, plus elements such as an event space and a flower bar!

“Our new location, simply called The Green, will include an even bigger selection of pots, plants and homewares as well as a Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant, event space and flower bar,” the owners, Angela Sclavos and Christina Habchi, announced in January 2021

The fitout for The Green, found on 27 James St, has been coming together thanks to the vision of internationally acclaimed designer Borhan Ghofrani, who wants the new space to be more than just a restaurant. 

Photo Credit: Supplied

Mr Ghofrani based his designs on the owners’ Lebanese roots and envisions that when visitors step into the new store, they will feel like they are in another world. 

“This space will be a surprise to the senses,” the designer said. “Imagine the stunning red hues of the emblematic Cedar wood of Lebanon intertwined with the alluring plant life that locals have come to love about Green Space, but on a much larger scale.”

The Green will feel right at home on James Street’s lifestyle precinct next to establishments like Endota Spa, Alexa Nice, Pottery Barn and Gerard’s Bistro. It will take over the shop formerly occupied by Akira, the fashion label. 

Photo Credit: Supplied

“Crafting a space like The Green from the ground up involves a level of reverse engineering. It is a laborious process to deliver design elements engrossed in heritage and history, but it matters, and we are thrilled to unveil the end result to patrons very soon,” Mr Ghofrani said.

Meanwhile, two-time Chef Hat winner Warren Turnbull will serve as the Head Chef at The Green’s kitchen, who will create authentic Lebanese dishes, such as bubbly flatbreads, sweet honey-soaked cheese and crispy homemade falafels, to complement and work cohesively with the restaurant’s design. Mr Ghofrani said that he can’t wait for their guests to have an unforgettable dining experience.

Photo Credit: Supplied

“Without design unity across all components including sights, smells, sounds and tastes, a venue is soulless and lacks the fundamental pillars of a sustainable business due to a lacklustre patron experience,” he said.

Follow The Green’s Instagram account for updates on the opening date this July 2021, the menu, and their store hours. 

Luxury Skincare Brand Rationale Moves to James Street

Rationale, a leading Australian luxury skincare brand, has moved to a bigger flagship store from Ann Street to James Street in Fortitude Valley. The new space has more treatment rooms to provide a variety of dermatological services to its patrons.

As new store opens, Rationale also introduces its expanded Essential Six Collections. As with the previous sets, these collections offer a personalised product line-up for different and ever-changing skincare needs. 

Named for the “six pillars of lifelong skin vivacity and luminosity,” the Essential Six Collections comprises colour-coded cleansers, moisturisers and serums that bring the following benefits:

BRILLIANCEThe Brilliance Collection is the finishing facet of your morning.
CLARITYThe Clarity Collection offers a nightly ritual for skin refinement and radiance; equilibrium is elegantly restored, crystal clarity is cultivated.
INTEGRITYThe Integrity Collection offers inspired creations for the evening, designed to strengthen skin’s most precious, yet elusive, qualities.
RENEWALThe Renewal Collection ushers skin through a most profound journey of overnight rejuvenation and repair.
RESILIENCEThe Resilience Collection restores skin’s inherent fortitude, enhances clarity and reanimates luminosity with a suite of nurturing and protective formulations.  
VITALITYThe Vitality Collection simultaneously delivers superlative skin rejuvenation and intensive antioxidant nourishment. 
Photo Credit: Rationale/Facebook

Richard Parker launched Rationale in 1992 using Australian botanicals as the main ingredients. Before establishing its own retail stores, Rationale was only available at dermatology offices and skincare clinics. 

His creations have given rise to a cult following among beauty bloggers, celebrities and make-up artists. The beauty brand has an online shop as well. 

David Jones to Shut Down Luxurious Fortitude Valley Store

David Jones has confirmed it is closing its store in Fortitude Valley. Three years since it opened on James Street, the upscale department store will be shutting down in June 2020. 

The site is the first David Jones to close in Queensland. However, a spokesperson said that this decision is in line with its “retail network strategy.” 

The department store is optimising its operations as the needs and preferences of customers change.  The company insisted that it is still doing OK. 

With the impending shutdown, David Jones Fortitude Valley staff will not lose their jobs. Many of the team members have been redeployed at nearby outlets, including the biggest outlet in Brisbane at the Queens Plaza. This store is located some 5-kilometres away from the James Street site. 

“We look forward to welcoming Brisbane customers to our QueensPlaza CBD flagship, our new-concept Carindale store and other surrounding David Jones stores as well as to,” the spokesperson said.

Photo Credit: Facebook

In August 2019, the department store’s owner Woolworths Holdings said, through its representatives, that it will be “aggressively” shutting down its physical stores as profits from these stores declined by 42 percent. In contrast, online sales during the second half of 2019 jumped by 61.8 percent, representing 10.4 percent of total sales. 

Meanwhile, the outlet in Elizabeth Street in Brisbane City has also successfully contributed to last year’s sales. The site has undergone a massive nine-storey refurbishment, which is due for completion this March.

Hellenika Brisbane Brings Authentic Greek Cuisine to Fortitude Valley

Hellenika, the famous Gold Coast eatery, brings their exceptional Greek dining experience to James Street, Fortitude Valley.

Aptly located at the pool deck level of The Calile, Hellenika Brisbane offers prime alfresco dining and poolside bites paired with exceptional wines.

Photo credit: Hellenika/Facebook

The rooftop Greek restaurant features all of the famed signature menu items of Hellenika. From their famous mix of mezedes and large share plates to their signature fresh fishmarket options, Hellenika Brisbane’s restaurant menu is sure to impress.


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Embracing their ideal poolside set up, the restaurant also prepared a dedicated poolside menu which includes their popular zucchini chips, classic Greek salad, a variety of Hellenika wraps, and a list of different poolside drinks.


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Fortitude Valley’s new Greek restaurant embraces its owner, Simon Gloftis’s passion for bringing people together over their love for great food and wine. In fact, their extensive wine list boasts a line up of carefully handpicked wines that complement their menu. If you’re unsure of which ones to choose their team can guide you so you can have a great dining experience.


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Hellenika Brisbane is open from 6:30 a.m. daily. You may visit their official website to learn more or book for a table.

El’Rosa Gives James Street a Rosier View

Thinking of the perfect place for your next event, or perhaps, a new place to hang out whilst you have a cup of coffee? The new El’Rosa by Arc + Family on James Street in Fortitude Valley will surely brighten your day and help you get into the pink of things.

Husband and wife Ash and Ben Keily, who both design and sell pots, are the two geniuses behind Arc + Family. All the work used to happen in their home studio in Morningside until they finally decided to open their own showroom plus its newest addition, the events & cafe place that now seems to be the talk of town.

With its generous splashes of pink, the place would be hard to miss. Located in the courtyard behind Arc + Family, the venue can host events, bridal showers, engagements, and all other private parties.

Photo credit: El’Rosa / Facebook

Pink has always been the colour of choice for Ms Keily, a former make-up artist and self-confessed fan of the shade. Choosing pink as the anchor for the place’s colour palette, and even its name, was a no-brainer. The idea is to make El’Rosa the place for pink, pots, picks (cactus), and plants in the city.

When it is not being used for a private event, it is open to the public. Everyone is welcome from Tuesday to Sunday from 7:00 a.m. — the whimsical, airy ambience and steaming cup of delicious coffee make for a great afternoon off from your daily bustle.

Following their successful launch in June, El’Rosa has become a place to see, be seen, and yes, the place to be if you want some interesting snaps for your ‘gram. Insta-worthy, indeed, as regulars would attest.

Address: 85 James St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, Australia