A serious new wine bar oasis in Burleigh Heads from the local team behind award-winning Restaurant Labart. Modern Australian and Mediterranean influences can be seen from the light filled bar through to the menu, and the wine list is focused on minimal intervention producers, and coupled with some old world classic styles.
The nuts & bolts
- Opened 2021
- Buzzy atmosphere
- Indoor, some outdoor, and bar seating
- Suitable for groups of up to eight
- Focus on local, seasonal produce
- Plumm glassware
- Uses Coravin wine preservation system
The regular’s tip
Order by the glass so you can try as many different varietals as possible and be guided by the knowledgable Paloma team.
Simple, chic, discrete. Nestled amongst the hedonistic beachside bombast that characterises much of Burleigh Heads on Queensland’s southern border, it’s a surprise to find Paloma Wine Bar offering such a focused wine offering – but then, the vision behind this smart neighbourhood bar comes from a winning team.
Paloma is the latest creation of owners Alex and Karla Munoz Labart, who also run the award-winning Restaurant Labart in Burleigh Heads, which has established a new high-quality benchmark in the town since opening in 2018. They’ve long desired opening a separate wine bar as a business companion.
“We always knew we wanted to open a casual, relaxed wine bar in the neighbourhood at some stage,” says Karla. In 2011, a venue became available on busy James Street, and the husband-and-wife team embarked on a clever transformation of the space. It now a few pavement tables that serve to draw your attention in through the open frontage to the long bar sweeping down one wall, opposite a stylish banquette and small circular cocktail tables.
“It was a dark and cavernous place, so we gutted the inside and opened it up to introduce a light-filled, more colourful beachside atmosphere,” says Karla. “The atmosphere is what makes Paloma special. It doesn’t have a beach view like some neighbouring bars in Burleigh, but the buzz that comes from inside the space is something that’s hard to resist.”
The wine list predominantly features small, boutique producers who practice minimal intervention techniques, along with a solid representation of old world, classic-style wines, and an event split between international and domestic producers.
“The pedigree of Restaurant Labart leads some people to think Paloma will be all about food. Although the food is exceptional, it’s simple – a seasonal menu of small plates that change frequently based on the fresh produce available from our local suppliers on the day, whether that be salumi or sardines. The focus is definitely first and foremost about wine,” says Alex.
“Paloma is a place to drop in for a glass or two or three, with no reservation required – and the food is all about small plates, designed to share. The idea is to graze and work your way through a series of plates while you try different wines. This is not a formal, restaurant-style dining experience – you can head to our sibling venue for that treat.”
Indeed, with Restaurant Labart now booked for two sittings, staff like to send diners to Paloma for a drink before or after dinner. “Beyond that, it’s also a great place to settle in for a long, lazy afternoon of snacks and drinks with friends,” says Karla.