Mixing equal parts Barcelona, Brooklyn and laid-back Brisbane, Alba pumps to a Hip-Hop soundtrack, with a keen list of about 40 Australian and Spanish wines on high rotation. There’s also at least eight Jerez available by the glass at all times, and feisty Spanish-inspired bar food to suit.
The regular’s tip
Ask the staff to build you a bespoke wine and food pairing. The advice that a regular would give a new visitor is “shut up and let them do it”.
The nuts and bolts
- Opened 2019
- Wheelchair access
- A ‘neighbourhood bar’ in the middle of the CBD
- Modern tapas food
- Loud atmosphere
- Walking distance to Suncorp Stadium
- Keen sherry selection
Alba is built on three pillars – Hip-Hop, Jamon and Jerez. A hidden gem tucked down Burnett Lane in the heart of Brisbane CBD, Alba aims to mix international bar culture in a relaxed environment – as much Barcelona and Brooklyn as laid-back Brisbane. Comfortably seating 45 comfortably with a mixture of high dining and low seats at the bar, which is the best place to hang out and feel close to the action. “We don’t like pretence,” says General Manager Cecile Schoen. “We are here to make you as excited as we are about delicious food and drinks.”
Owner Jamie Fleming and Schoen focus on minimal intervention wines and smaller producers from across Australia and Spain, the list sits at around 30-40 wines that frequently rotate. “We love low-intervention, natty wines but still have classics to keep everyone happy. We have a primary love of all things Jerez, with at least eight open by the glass at any one time.”
Wines are also designed to complement a menu where flavour comes first in Spanish-influenced bar food of restaurant quality, produced by Rohan Stewart. Expect bold tapas, conservas and larger plates that always shine a bright light on the core ingredient.
A pumping soundtrack suits the vibe perfectly. “Our playlist is heavily focussed on jazz-inspired hip hop from the US and abroad. Expect everything from Tribe Called Quest & Gangstarr to Action Bronson & J Cole. The odds are you’ll walk in listening to a limited-edition vinyl NZ, or MF Doom. Always Doom. He is our patron on the entry wall.”
Providing gilt-edged service in sneakers and flat caps, the team also focusses on creating bespoke experiences – building menus, building pairings and running everyone through Alba’s interesting wines of the moment. “Our favourite guests are the people who come in for one glass and end up leaving six hours later having made four new friends. We can convince you sherry is the thing. If not, amaro it is.”