One brunette female and one blonde female sitting around a table at Finn McCools. With beers in hand.

Eight of the best bars for after work drinks

The sun is setting, the temperatures are dropping and moods are mellowing; it’s knock-off time! You’ve probably been slogging away at the office (or home office) since the crack of dawn and have barely made it to wine o’clock. Let us show you around the top spots to ‘wine down’ in Fortitude Valley for after-work drinks.

Our first stop is Proud Henry Wine Bar & Ginoteca. Located on bustling Wickham Street, this European-style bar and fairy-lit courtyard is a refined oasis with more than 280 gins from around the world – the largest collection in Brisbane. Despite its genteel atmosphere, Proud Henry packs a punch with the perfect pairing of gin safari flights and delicious cocktails plus a curated range of boutique wine. It’s open Wednesday to Saturday – mid-week wine-down sorted!

Seeking spectacular skylines with delectable drinks to match? Cielo Rooftop is a socialite’s dream. With panoramic views and channelling the chic Italian Riviera, Cielo Rooftop is the best place to observe Brisbane from above and ideal for an after-work drink. Cielo Rooftop is always down for celebrating with a seasonal cocktail menu curated by Sydney’s award-winning bar, Maybe Sammy. Open Thursday through to Sunday, grab your besties and indulge in the decadent Cocktail Tree Menu of either Svedka Spritz, Rosé Daisy or Swedish drinks. Delish!

Venture to Iris Rooftop, another of the Valley’s alfresco bars with a Mediterranean flavour. Located atop the boutique Hotel X on Brunswick Street and open Tuesday to Sunday, you’ll be stunned by impressive views of the Valley and surrounding suburbs. Here, luxury is the order of the day, whether it’s a la carte or the full banquet experience you’re after, your dining desires will be catered for. When it comes to drinks, share refined sangria made with organic wines, or opt for bottle service with your fave spirit and mixers straight to your private poolside cabana.

Bringing it down to street level, head to Hey Chica! for vibrant South American vibes in the heart of the Brunswick Street Mall. Get the mid-week fiesta started with Salsa Wednesdays where DJs spin the best salsa and bachata tunes for beginners and pros alike. The neighbourhood street party continues with a mouth-watering menu of Latin street food and share plates plus signature cocktails, margs and even two kinds of frosé – ole!

Housed in a two-storey heritage building, Hotel Carrington is a precinct with two secret garden areas connected by an exposed brick alleyway. With historic charm and a modern makeover, Hotel Carrington bridges the quintessential pub experience with style for knock-off drinks. Take a load off and enjoy the classic pub grub with smokehouse feature items on the menu washed down with an extensive selection of craft beers, wines and spirits.

With a name like Suzie Wongs Good Time Bar, you know what to expect when you enter this venue. Tucked away off Ann Street, this Hawaiian-themed dive bar and grungy-styled surf shack goes off five days a week with live music, cool cocktails and good vibes. With Wild West Wednesdays and Jam Nights on alternate mid-week slots, Suzie Wongs is definitely the spot to blow off some steam after a day in front of the screen.

Need to refuel after dancing the night away? Dutch Courage Officers’ Mess offers an array of satisfying bites as Queensland’s first gin bar and restaurant. The colonial plantation-style venue has a delicious menu of spice-forward Middle Eastern-inspired small and large plates such as falafel, pork belly and duck tagine. As well as 140 types of gin, you’ll also find a collection of 200-plus spirits, craft beer on tap and wine. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a creative cocktail from the innovative mixmasters.

As the Valley’s only Irish establishment, Finn McCool’s Irish Bar is the obvious spot to wine-down an epic after-work drink sesh, plus it’s open seven days a week. Tap into the craic at the newly refurbed local institution on Brunswick Street Mall with hearty pub fare, pizza and Irish classic to warm your belly, a full pint and top hospitality on tap. 

With such a smorgasbord of after-work watering holes, you can’t go past Fortitude Valley.

- March 2022