It is apparently now a thing that the coolest new places to eat and drink are throw-back, 50s era American-style grime diners/dive bars. It is apparently also a thing to call everything new “a thing”. Always one to keep up with current fashions (see prior use of trendy phrase “a thing”), I went to check out Brisbane’s hip new establishment, Greaser Bar.
The first hurdle was finding the bloody place. It might be standard in New York for an underground bar to be marked by a red industrial door, but let’s be real. In Brisbane the only underground things we have are a series of empty toll-tunnels. To me, an angry bouncer standing in front of a unmarked door says “don’t try and come in here girl, behind this door there are GUNS and CHEMICALS probably and MORE ANGRY MEN and maybe JAMES BOND?”. But after much dithering and pretending to text my friends while playing Flappy Bird, I finally got in.
The vibe is pretty chill. An outdoor smoking “cave” on your left opens onto an industrial courtyard and a series of tunnels that lead you past the kitchen and into the bar, (very nice to see venues commandeering service areas and making them useful).
"...with a burger in one hand and a beer in the other, you may never want to get up again."
The bar area itself is kind of like this: a cool dad bought an abandoned squat and did it up, decking out the basement with leather couches and a wooden bar, rammed full of alcohol for the neighbourhood teens to steal. The original grime and neglect of the building hasn’t been lacquered over though, which gives the interior its distinct character. It reminds me of the iconic bar Aux Folies in Belleville, Paris, which has an outdoor section tacked on in a graffitied alleyway next door and is, obviously, the height of nonchalant coolness.
Greaser, like any venue in Brisbane that is not a cesspit, gets pretty rammed on Friday and Saturday nights. So once you’ve circled the bar like a predator, secured your table and planted your flag, do expect to wait in line at the bar for a while. The payoff is worth it though, as there’s a huge range of local and imported craft beers to choose from. Or maybe a pickle-brine cocktail is more your thang? They have them too.
I don’t know. I’ll try one, I guess. I don’t like pickles but…maybe I’ll dig the foul liquid they’ve been rotting in? I don’t know. I don’t know what to think anymore….shots sound like funnnnnn….
When your thoughts start looping like this, it means you’re drunk and need to eat something. Lucky for you, you mess, Greaser has some amazing food. Chicken wings fried in buttermilk (wtf), Angus beef burgers (omg) and hotdogs served with Jalapenos and cheese floss (;_;!). It’s just too much. And the food comes in little red baskets, like genuine diner fare.
Tip: when you’re done with your food, slick back your ‘do with the grease on your fingers!
The only bummer about the place is that the seating, which takes up most of the floor space, is quite segregated. Perfect for bunkering down with a big group of friends, kind of awkward if you’re trying to mingle. Then again, with a burger in one hand and a beer in the other, you may never want to get up again.
If your bag is good food, fine drinks and cosy corners, Greaser Bar is well worth your time. C’mon, seriously, what else are you going do? Go to the Brunswick Mall Maccas and hate yourself? Don’t be disgusting. Go to Greaser.