Brisbane, Queensland has unveiled the newest addition to its entertainment and hotel offerings.
Howard Smith Wharves (HSW) is a 3.4-hectare entertainment district featuring a new luxury hotel and multiple event spaces including an overwater bar, restaurant, wine bar and craft beer brewery. Situated under the Story Bridge on the Brisbane River, it offers planners several benefits, including a full liquor license for the whole site, making it easy to use multiple venues; and the opportunity to customize coloured lights on the bridge to match an event theme through an HSW liaison with Brisbane City Council.
Key venues are:
- Art Series Hotel – the Fantauzzo: Named after award-winning Australian painter Vincent Fantauzzo, this six storey property has 166 suites, a rooftop pool and bar overlooking, state-of-the-art gym, and onsite restaurants and bars (opening soon). Complimentary tours of Fantauzzo’s artwork—he is renowned for his portraiture—are also available.
- Arc Dining and Wine Bar: Opened in March 2019, Arc offers a 400-plus wine list curated by award-winning sommelier Ian Trinkle. Its kitchen, helmed by Chef Alanna Sapwell, delivers a contemporary Australian menu focussed on sustainably-sourced and fresh produce. Arc Dining can seat up to 100 and Arc Wine Bar can host events for up to 140 seated. HSW’s other restaurants are Mr. Percival’s Overwater Bar; Fish n Chippery; and Greca Restaurant.
- Howard’s Hall: The largest of the HSW venues, Howard’s Hall features retractable glass windows, internal partitions and two rooftop terraces. It can accommodate 864 (seated) and 1,164 for a cocktail-style event.
- East Lawn: One of three lawn spaces at HSW, East Lawn is positioned on the riverfront and has a capacity of 400 (seated) and 500 (cocktail reception). Located next to Howard’s Hall, the two venues can be combined for larger events.
- Rivershed: The heritage-listed Rivershed is one of four original wharf buildings at HSW, which have been rejuvenated. It features exposed timber beams and a flexible configuration that can be broken down into two smaller venues. Capacity: 480 (seated) and 630 (cocktail).
- Bougainvillea House: HSW has four houses for venue hire. Bougainvillea House is the first to open and the largest. Featuring a wraparound veranda with elevated views, it can accommodate 90 guests seated and 100 people for a cocktail-style event. The other three houses are: Greenhouse (capacity: 50 seated/56 cocktails); Citrus House (capacity: 12 seated/20 cocktails); and Wisteria House (capacity 12 seated/20 cocktails).
F&B offerings at HSW event venues are overseen by the district’s director of culinary, David Finlayson. Menus are focused on produce sourced in Queensland, in keeping with the “fresh and local” theme. Coffee and beer can also be “fresh and local” thanks to the venue’s on-site coffee roasters and its brewery, Felons Brewing Co. In addition, a permaculture program is being developed to cultivate organic produce on site.