If you’ve ever seen a performance by Patience Hodgson, singer and self-proclaimed “shit headbanger” for indie rock band the Grates, you’ll know she has an amazing stage presence. Sit at her homey little Morningside bar for an hour or two and you’ll realise that she’s also a born storyteller – a character who could talk the leg off an iron pot. She’s like one of those great bartenders of days long since passed – the kind who likes to know their customers’ drinks by heart, but also wants to find out what makes them tick.
As if that isn’t enough, the girl makes a mean French onion dip. Yep, she makes it herself and if you ask nicely she will probably even share the recipe with you. It’s based it on a dip she used to get at her beloved local food co-op from her days in Brooklyn. For $10 you get a giant plastic Tupperware party platter with Twisties, Pringles and BBQ crinkle cuts in little separate compartments, the tangy dip as the centrepiece: the ultimate back-to-basics bar munchies platter.
Other snacks include shot glasses of nuts – either smoked almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios or super-crunchy cheese corn (3 for $5), grilled gruyere and cheddar cheese, and the ‘hungry hippy’ sandwich of avocado, sprouts, cheddar, free-range boiled egg, tomato and dirty mayo on multigrain.
Wash it down with a small but carefully selected range of drinks all served in fetching little jars that are in perfect keeping with the thrift-shop charm of the décor, with its Formica kitchen tables, wall-mounted spoon collection and fake-wood-panelling wallpaper. Beers include Queensland Ale ($7.50) and mini kegs of White Chocolate Pilsener ($11), both brewed by Bacchus in Capalaba; Sierra Nevada Pale Ale; St Ambrose Blond; gluten-free Pickled Pig Coeliac Beer; Holgate Temptress; and Fig Jam Indian Pale Ale.
The Southside Cocktail is just the thing on a balmy Brisbane evening: a long, refreshing mix of gin, lime mint ‘simple’ syrup and soda. Naturally, like all good bartenders of yesteryear, Patience also mixes up a mean martini and a killer Old Fashioned, and no matter what your poison, it comes with a generous dose of banter thrown in for free.