Italian makeover: the Brisbane bottle shops evolving into wine bars

A number of independent wine merchants are taking up the hybrid store/bar concept and ‘building a community’

It’s late Friday afternoon in suburban Brisbane – about the hour when “day drinking” ticks over to the more respectable “knock off” drinks. We’re sitting at a communal table enjoying a glass of wine with strangers while an upbeat playlist meanders through decades and genres. We’re not in a bar, a pub or even a restaurant. Rather, we’re in a store. More specifically, a wine store.

Queensland bottle-os used to be a place you popped into briefly on your way somewhere else. And while the old-school chains may still be the place for a weekend “smash and grab”, increasing numbers of independents in Brisbane have embarked on wine store/bar hybrids more aligned with the Italian enoteca.

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