Bird’s eye view: Aviary Terrace Bar, BŌS’s subtropical sibling, opens above Queen Street

Brisbane takes on a different personality in spring. The weather turns it on, the event calendar fills and the city comes to life. Arriving just in time to capitalise on the seasonal shift is The Aviary Terrace Bar, the sleek open-air cocktail bar sibling to BŌS boasting an elevated position and river views. 
Sep 01, 2023, updated Sep 01, 2023

Described as Brisbane’s own Birdcage, The Aviary is shaping up to be an elegant go-to for Riverfire and Melbourne Cup celebrations, but is also a sensational pick for your weekly sundowner spot. Take a peek …

When high-end steakhouse BŌS opened on level four of 480 Queen Street last year, it grabbed headlines for its menu of premium protein, cracking collection of worldly wines, glamorous interior, jaw-dropping location and the blue-blood pedigree of its owners.

Lost in the hype surrounding the big-name arrival was an interesting nugget of information regarding the crew’s next steps, which involved the opening of The Aviary Terrace Bar – an open-air cocktail joint taking shape on the adjacent 800-sqm alfresco terrace, previously home to Bar OTTO.

But that’s just the way the team wanted it. “The first couple of months we were just racing to keep up – we opened the doors and it went ballistic,” recalls co-owner Adrian Richardson, an acclaimed chef and Melbourne-based restaurateur who comprises BŌS’s ownership team alongside hospo veteran Chris Higgins and lawyer-turned-culinary-entrepreneur Liam McMahon. “From then until now, we’ve been able to tidy ourselves up, get it all together and pull in a great team. Now we feel like we’re ready to ball rolling.”

The Aviary quietly opened to the public last week, showing off its subtropical-inspired, Alkot Studio-designed digs, which share the same remarkable views of the Brisbane River and Story Bridge as its steak-slinging sibling. In broad terms, The Aviary is a lively, elegant, modern and bold counterpoint to BŌS’s refined, somewhat-understated personality.

It boasts a chic figure courtesy of an arresting salmon and deep-green colour scheme applied across curvy, neon-lit booths and low-set banquettes, with a cluster of high-topped tables near the bar offering more casual seating (one lengthy table doubles as a runway and dance platform, for when the music hits the sweet spot).

“A mate told me it feels like I’ve stepped onto the set of Miami Vice,” says Chris. “I’d never thought of it that way and I don’t think it was ever intended, but I actually quite like it.” Work has gone into weatherproofing the site and minimising the impact of forceful breezes via newly installed glass panels, retractable blinds and roof that can open or close as needed.

“You can’t stop the wind, it’s here to stay,” says Chris. “We’ve designed so that there’s pockets throughout this whole site where you can sit and be very comfortable and cosy. Once you get into your little area, you’re protected.”

Whereas BŌS is ideal for blow-out celebratory feasts and seal-the-deal business lunches, The Aviary works best as a more casual, spur-of-the-moment sipping spot for a post-work party or weekend drinks. “The Aviary is where you come after you’ve had that serious sit-down meal where you’ve done a deal,” says Chris, hinting at the symbiotic potential of both venues. “It’s gone well and now the jacket’s off.”

Like at BŌS, Adrian is in charge of the culinary direction, but you won’t find bistecca T-bones or wagyu tomahawks here – at The Aviary it’s all about the snacks. “The food here is of the same standard of quality. It’s made by the same chefs, so it’s professionally put together,” says Adrian. “But we want to have a bit of fun with it but also keep it simple. Food that looks good, that’s really tasty, easy to eat and really easy to share.”

Bites like wagyu-beef croquettes, garlic-prawn toasties with fries, Korean fried chicken with kimchi mayo, prawn-and-bug rolls on brioche buns, and tiered seafood towers offer plenty of options for groups to divvy up and devour.

The Aviary’s beverage program orbits around the two C’s (champagne and cocktails), with the team leveraging the knowledge and talents of the drinks crew at Adrian’s Melbourne hot spot Bouvier Bar & Grill to help fashion a Queensland-appropriate offering featuring ten signatures and six margarita riffs. Beyond bubbles, the wine list is a trimmed branch of BŌS’ weighty tome (curated by sommelier Lucie Graziadei) showcasing lighter varietals like rosé, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc – everything that pairs well with the afternoon sun.

The Aviary Terrace Bar is now open to the public. Menu details, operating hours and social links can be found in the Stumble Guide.

This article was written by James Frostick from The Weekend Edition. 

Local News Matters
Copyright © 2024 InQueensland.
All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy