Foresters FV: 209 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD
(07) 3188 3161 or forestersfv.com.au
Right at the top of Brunswick Street is a triangular block of land that is redefining Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. The striking triple towers that make up Tim Gurner’s FV development contain close to 1000 apartments at the luxe end of the market, permanently shifting the centre of gravity of the Valley precinct toward the north.
Nestling in one corner of the $600m development is the historic Foresters’ Hall. Outside, its Federation facade provides a bold yet elegant counterpoint to the adjacent 21st century lobby of the Peppers FV hotel. Inside, the chic 140-seat Foresters restaurant deftly interlocks heritage brickwork with bespoke timber and leather to create evocative dining zones while six floors above perches the rooftop Altitude bar. The twin venues have been created by the Signature Hospitality Group (of The Sporting Globe and TGI Fridays fame) with the goal of redefining the F&B landscape of this formerly overlooked edge of the Valley.
UP & COMING
Helming the venture for Signature is emigrant Scot, Ross Ledingham, who is relishing the challenge of transforming his corner of this new world city. “Brisbane has got that up and coming factor to it,” he muses, “and this whole area is going through gentrification. So it’s great for us to be at the forefront as the Valley regains its former glory”. Ross modestly describes Foresters offering as ‘elevated gastro-pub’ and though the menu does feature pub staples like parma and steak, sparkling touches like Nduja oil dressings and regional flourishes, such as cashew cream, saltbush and wattle seed, raise the culinary bar above the competition. The skyward trend continues at the bar where a Bushfire Negroni (created with Mt Uncle Bushfire Smoked Gin) captures a unique Queensland flavour and a popcorn-garnished Salted Caramel Espresso Martini salutes the building’s past as Brisbane’s first cinema.
Ross is quick to recognise that the Valley is “a real party area, constantly buzzing seven nights a week,” so he has paid a lot of attention to creating the right soundscape both for the restaurant and the Altitude bar. “With Altitude we’re really trying to create a bit more of a buzz. So early doors, we’re a venue that is sundown, has views over the city, some drinks and some bites, and we have a different genre of music each night.
TOP OF THE VALLEY
The right sound system was high on his priority list. Altitude, with its retractable roof needed a weatherproof system that could handle the whole gamut from live music to DJs and right back to ambient background at different times.
“Sometimes we have three DJs on a night, other times we’ve got singers, percussionists, a saxophonist or an electric violinist that we’re plugging into the system that’s playing with the DJ,” Ross elaborated.
“As a company, we generally gravitate towards Bose,” he noted. “It’s built for all of those environments and it’s even great when you’re adding Foxtel and things like that in a sports setting”.
While it is still early days in the reinvention of the precinct, Ross is bullish about the prospects for Forrester’s and Altitude.
“I think it’s a great location. We’re offering something different and we always knew it would be months too early for this end of the Valley to really rebuild itself. But it’s nice to be the first ones here, to make some noise, and to drag people in as a destination site.” — Derek Powell.
Bose Professional: pro.bose.com
TAG (QSC): www.tag.com.au
Rabone Systems (AV installer): www.rabonesystems.com.au