Beirne Lane is the jewel in the crown of Fortitude Valley’s Brunswick St Mall – a stunning old world-meets new 24/7 bar and eatery that pays homage to the heritage building that was Brisbane’s ionic TC Beirne department store.
The glamorous plant-adorned space is split level with soaring ceilings, an enclosed glass-walled laneway along one side, cosy lamplit booths with marble-top tables, open kitchen with charcoal oven to the rear and a bar to the left as you walk in.
The face of TC Beirne* himself (philanthropist, businessman and politician) watches over proceedings from the rear next to the open kitchen and on the menu, the signature Beirne Lane ‘Shilling Meal’. The dish takes inspiration from the one shilling meal enjoyed by one of TC Beirne’s longest standing employees, Mr P Nolan at a nearby Valley corner fish shop: 4 freshly shucked oysters, 600g ribeye on the bone, onions rings, horseradish and watercress with clotted cream cannoli to finish.
No matter what the hour you can find something scrumptious to eat at Beirne Lane, thanks to an executive chef who hails from some of the country’s acclaimed restaurants (including North Bondi Fish, Rockpool and Bistro Mars).
On the morning and day menu are freshly baked pastries, muffins, banana bread, fruit salad pods katsu jaffles, a Beirne Lane poke bowl and decadent smoothies including the mighty mudshake and pina colada.
The dinner menu, available from 5.30-9, includes a selection from the Raw Bar such as freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters, sashimi plate, tuna tartare, kingfish ceviche and salmon tostada and Starters including the must-try crab/mayo on toast and karaage quail with daikon, carrot and sesame, smoked rainbow trout and spicy lamb sausage with peas, mint and buffalo ricotta.
From the Charcoal Oven, there’s miso roasted salmon with pickled vegetables, pork chop with apple, sorrel and seeded mustard, eggplant, shiitake gravy, king brown and enoki mushrooms and melt-in-the-mouth Mooloolaba prawns with confit garlic and tarragon butter.
And from the Dry Age cabinet, there’s Striploin (black grade) or Rib Eye also cooked in the charcoal oven and accompanied by sides such as miso roasted cauliflower, spinach salad or cheesy Japanese curry covered chips.
Desserts include deliciousness such as clotted cream cannoli, puff pastry tart of the day, cinnamon donut holes or Mars Bar & Madeira Cake, or, for something savoury, a selection of cheeses including grilled triple cream cheese.
At other times and all through the night diners can graze on the bar menu, which features house specialty Katsu Sandos (barramundi, tofu, chicken or beef), baked cob loaf, popcorn chicken.
Bar drinks include 12 beers on tap, including many local drops and an impressive wine and summery cocktail list.
*TC Beirne was known for looking after his employees, many of whom travelled far to work for him meal money and, in the case of his shop girls, even providing accommodation at the Bulolo Flats up the road, which he had purpose built for them as an all-female apartment block. As a catholic Irish immigrant, the TC Beirne department store was where Brisbane's catholics came to shop whilst the protestants shopped across the mall at McWhirters. TC Beirne's grand heritage-listed house still stands in Hendra, and part of its estate has been turned into the quaint TC Beirne park.