West End welcomes two-storey bar and bistro Covent Garden, which draws inspiration from London’s popular dining, drinking and socialising hub of the same name.

Covent Garden replaces Lock’n’Load, creating an immersive garden oasis featuring a large stained glass sky dome, upper and lower courtyards, a hidden late night cocktail lounge, and a balcony overlooking Boundary Street.

General Manager Cuba Kryzanowski shares the inspiration behind the inner-city sanctuary. “We realised that people are slowly moving away from craft beer and exploring modern avenues such as gin,” said Cuba. “Gin is much the same as beer; it is a very versatile drink which can be mixed with just about anything and everything, but there is also the option to experiment with different tastes,” he said.

Covent Garden boasts more than 100 different types of gin.

“We all love gin and believe it’s even more suited to Australia. It’s a fresh, summer drink, perfect for Brisbane weather,” Cuba explains. Along with the extensive gin selection, the three bars also offer a large range of craft beers and ciders, with Pimm’s and Aperol Spritz on tap.

The Covent Garden menu ranges from salads and boutique sandwiches during the day, to share style dishes at night. Options include juniper smoked salmon, kale remoulade, pearls, anise herbs and lavosh, lamb shoulder with panzanella salad, yoghurt and lemon myrtle.

Transforming the space (which was originally built in 1887) into an oasis of greenery and botanicals was not easy according to the team, who owned the site’s former popular venue, Lock ’n’ Load, for 11 years. “A lot of blood, sweat and tears were involved in the overhaul of Covent Garden. A lot of going back and forth; one day we didn’t want it, the next day we did.

Lock’n’Load was our baby; we didn’t want to get rid of it,” Cuba explained.

Although some locals may be sad to see Lock’n’Load go, Cuba explains that the team is simply adjusting to suit the new tastes of West End. “We like to think that we are adapting, and felt as though we have to take a chance and create something unique to cater for the new West End. The suburb is beaming with go-to hotspots and is attracting higher income earning clientele. West End 10 years ago is not the West End today,” he said. “Thinking a couple of years ahead definitely sets Covent Garden apart. Rather than following the trends as everybody else has been doing in West End for the last couple of years, we are looking for the new trend,” he said.

Covent Garden, which is owned by Lachlan, Sue, Duncan and Andrea Bird, is now open at 142 Boundary Street.

Readers also enjoyed this story about Little Big House.