Talisman Group founders discuss new venues, Brisbane hospitality

With more than 60 years of combined experience under their belts, Talisman Group Founders Vincent Lombino and Jared Thibault know a thing or two about what makes great venues.

Having cut their teeth on venues in the US and Australia (including working to establish QT Hotels and Resorts), Vincent and Jared had dreamed of starting their own hospitality outfit.

“We always planned on starting our own group and whilst COVID was tough, it presented us with the opportunity to work with incredible developers and with the inspiration to establish a collection of venues Aussies needed – that truly brought people together, evoked escapism and immersed people into a different part of the world,” the pair told Bars & Clubs.

“The projects started late in 2021 with the unveiling of our contemporary neighbourhood trattoria, Sasso Italiano, followed by Casa Chow and most recently two more venues – Purple Palm and South City Wine.”

Purple Palm

The latter two venues opened in Brisbane in late October, with Purple Palm described as “a Californian-inspired gin garden bar.” This venue has been developed in partnership with South Australian gin distillery, 78 Degrees, and offers a 10-foot wall of cocktails on tap.

“We wanted to partner with a great gin company and bring some amazing Australian products to the precinct so we worked with our Bar manager, Shelley Rudder, to curate a cocktail menu using only Aussie ingredients,” Vincent and Jared said.

“78 Degrees has also created a bespoke Sunshine State Gin for Purple Palm that’s inspired by the vibrant, tropical climate of Queensland and will be out in market soon for everyone to enjoy.”

South City Wine is Talisman’s twist on a classic European wine bar – with a strong focus on skin contact wines, alongside Chardonnay and Cabernet from local vineyards, complemented by some overseas offerings. The decor has been deliberately curated to recall Old World wine bars, with ‘moody interiors, emerald-green marble tabletops, dark timber panelling, romantic oil paintings and brass finishings’.

The Founders say that the bar’s menu will include “some niche American wines that you typically don’t find in Australia.”

“We’ve focused on natural wine as we know Australians want to know what they’re drinking, where it’s coming from and how it’s made. There are also some great natural wines being produced locally and internationally that are well worth celebrating,” they continued.

The pair told Bars & Clubs that development and construction of the two venues took about six months, with some delays.

“SGB Construction built South City Wine and UNITA built Purple Palm with Emilia Kosiek, Creative Director from People of Design, leading the interior concepts and implementation for both venues,” Jared and Vincent said.

For the Talisman Founders, these new venues are reflective of Brisbane’s resurgent food and beverage scene. When asked how they would typify the current state of play in the capital of the Sunshine State, Vincent and Jared said: “Thriving!”

“We both spent a lot of time in Sydney and Melbourne and it’s great to see Brisbane’s dining scene coming to life and offering locals and visitors alike some exciting food and beverage concepts.”

“South City Square is a vibrant, up-and-coming Brisbane neighbourhood so we’ve selected concepts that would pair perfectly with the local lifestyle and help bring the whole precinct and broader Woolloongabba district to life,” they commented.

Ultimately – the venues reflect what Vincent and Jared consider to be quality hospitality.

“Great hospitality to us is all about family and connection,” they said.

“We wanted to have venues that are a place where friends and family can come together to reconnect over special occasions or simply a G&T or glass of wine.”

Purple Palm and South City Wine are both located at 148 Logan Road, Woolloongabba, Brisbane. Purple Palm is open from 4 to 9PM Tuesday to Friday, and from 12 to 9PM on weekends. South City Wine is open for day services on Friday and Saturday from 12 to 2:30PM, and for evening services Tuesdays through to Saturdays, from 4 to 9:30PM.

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