One year of Brisbane laneway bar Antico


Antico, the third venue from Cuatro Group – the crew behind Death & Taxes and Dr Gimlette, first opened its doors in August last year, and one year on the bar is celebrating a successful debut year.  

Situated on Burnett Lane in Brisbane, Antico is an Italian-influenced cocktail bar that pulls the focus back to classic cocktails and replicates the intimate style of hospitality found in small bars across Italy.

Seating just 50 people in an open-plan, split level space, the bar is reminiscent of a classic Italian hotel lobby bar, bringing an inviting hospitality style to Brisbane’s oldest laneway.

While many people weren’t expecting such a change of venue from what previously occupied the space, Super Whatnot, according to Belinda Ward, Co-Owner of Cuatro Group, the new layout and design has been very well-received.

“We got a custom handmade mosaic floor imported from Turkey and we had a black and fold real marble bar-top from Brazil to name a couple of features,” she said.

Now, almost one year since its opening, Belinda says the group is “so very proud of the staff and the whole team who have been working very hard for the past few months”.

“So far, the response has been great and we haven’t had to change anything from our initial offering. We had a very simple and genuine idea of providing great hospitality with simple but fresh cocktails and food, and it has been working great.”

With a rotating menu of new interpretations of classic cocktails and a signature Negroni, guests can expect to enjoy riffs on the aperitif cocktail over Italian-inspired bar snacks such as fresh bruschetta and the classic mortadella and burrata combo.

“Our cocktail menu focuses on seasons and classic twists with fresh local ingredients to support our local community,” said Belinda.

Since Antico changes its cocktail menu every couple of months, Belinda finds it hard to pinpoint any standout performers, but impressively, 80 per cent of the bar’s takings are cocktails.

While tequila is up there as a growing category and gin has shown some popularity, spirit bases have been reasonably consistent across the board at Antico.

One observation that has been clear to Belinda, however, is reduced consumer spending.

“I believe that just like the rest of Australia, the foreseeable challenge is the current economic climate, especially housing. That will make people stay in instead of going out, and when they do go out, people will be very picky with how they spend their hard-earned money, which is fair.

“We will keep trying to give the best possible experience to everyone that comes through our doors,” she stated.

Promising to deliver a unique, high quality hospitality experience, Belinda says the focus for Cuatro Group for the remainder of the year is to “focus on growing our customer base and keep working hard in solidifying Antico as one of the best cocktail bars in Brisbane.”

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