Bars and Nightclubs
The Valley, Brisbane

Ric's Cafe Bar

321 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, QLD
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Lots of music and hairy tatto pierced youngsters, a gentle vide you feel rushing past. This is the score, you rock up day or night for a few cold ones to have a chat and listen to some great live music at a venue that is a little dingy and bohemian

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Ric's Cafe Bar Review

Review by Rosalie Grace

Ric's Cafe Bar (or just Ric's as it is affectionately known) is one of those bars Brisbane locals are always talking about. Located on Brunswick Street in the heart of the Valley, it is the perfect spot to chill out and enjoy cheap drinks and entertainment any night of the week.

Ric's offers something different from the usual clubbing experience - it feels like a boutique, laid-back escape from the loud music and seedy grinding of the typical Valley club. Ric's has a rock-alternative feel, often playing host to loads of great local bands. Whether you are looking to listen to some great live indie music at the lower bar or hit the dance floor to Top 40 tracks on the upper floor, Ric's has something for all tastes and crowds.

In terms of decor, Ric's can be best described as grunge-chic. Relatively small in size, this bar feels cosy but at the same time fun and lively. The walls are covered in posters for local music acts and colourful street art, giving the place an exclusive, bohemian vibe.

The lower, outdoors beer garden is where university students make a beeline for, and is often more crowded than inside the bar itself! With bright green plastic grass covering the ground, fairy lights scattered around and featuring a quirky hills-hoist, it really feels like a fun and trendy back yard! It is the perfect chance to play some pool or just pull up a milk crate and meet some interesting new people.

Quite possibly the best part about a trip to Ric's is the crowd. Appealing to people from all ages and demographics, Ric's is a great place to hang out with friends or meet new ones. People are encouraged to enjoy the music and have a dance but are also able to engage in conversation which is a refreshing change from some clubs in the area. There are plenty of places to sit down and relax or to flirt with that sexy someone across the room.

The prices are another appealing reason to head to Ric's on a night out in the Valley. Entry is always free and the drinks are very affordable. Though the prices can vary on different nights and special occasions, basic spirit mixes are usually about $5. On Thursday nights (a popular night for the bar) these are just $3!

Ric's is always a safe bet for a fun night out in the Valley with friends, offering awesome music and attracting a diverse and friendly crowd. Whether you are looking to spend the whole night or just a couple of hours to take advantage of the very competitive drink prices, do not look past Brisbane's iconic Ric's Cafe Bar. Good music and friendly banter are guaranteed!

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A Second Review of Ric's Cafe Bar

Review By Tiffany Bridger

A wrap-around line outside of a bar is usually an indication of some pretty great goings-on. But to maintain this commotion from Thursday afternoon through to Sunday is something else altogether.

That is: If you're anybody who is anybody, Ric's is "where it's at."

Despite being nearly a year since the cafe-bar was sold out to new owners and even newer renovations, long-time regulars will still refer to the 'Old Ric's with a dreamy sigh. Once harbouring eclectic, mismatched furniture (including quirky arcade games for use as tabletops), a perpetually sticky floor and a sense of true grunge Brisbane-style, things have ultimately changed. The retro pop music that played upstairs and even the crude scribbles on the bathroom stalls are sorely missed, but as the one true home for emerging music talent, you can see how this all added to its edge.

However, the Ric's story is only just beginning. While architectural renovations may have brought about a change in atmosphere, it now caters for an even wider variety of partygoers. Downstairs is still the main event for both local and established bands, genres galore. In earlier days we saw big names like The Grates and The John Steel Singers, so today the venue still acts as a reputable launch pad for gigs. There is a small stage and room to move when the DJ begins later in the evening.

Journey past the bar, and into the lounge area. Here you will find not only an ATM, but a dimly lit, pleasantly cosy spot for conversation. Its plush booth-style seating conveniently concealed from the sound, you will find yourself not gesturing like a maniac and not shouting in your friends' ears. Your throat will thank you in the morning.

Past conversation quarters, are the male, female and disabled patrons bathrooms. I'll just add here, that yes, with the renovations, the bathrooms were also heavily cleaned. But this isn't the only perk to add to the list. Outside, what used to be a caged off blank patch of bitumen, has been transformed into a comfortable seated courtyard with a bar. With a single glance at the general smattering of Lifeline threads, Ray-Bans and iPhones, you can see that this is where all the cool kids reside. On entry you'll probably want to join them, they always seem to be having too much fun. Smokers: this area is designated for you. Non-smokers: it provides a little spatial relief if things get too warm inside.

Starting to wonder if you'll be able to get your dance on? The upstairs floor is all yours. The DJ sticks to house music and Top 40 mixes, and there is yet another bar for your convenience. Dizzying with colourful flashing lights, videos and art projected up high on to the walls, there is a balcony on this level for those needing a breather.

But wait, there's more!

The cafe part of Ric's of course. The famous Fatboys restaurant next-door, noted for its hunger-quenching $4 Breakfast available late into the evening (or early into the morning), is still standing. Literally nothing on the menu is more than $15, and it includes all the food you could possibly want while drinking (or not drinking, if you like). With burgers, nachos, pasta, pizza, steak, chips and more, you can sit indoors or outdoors, with your food and your beer, and rub your belly with content. Oh, and that's during the day or the night.

Overall - the bar staff are friendly and quick to serve you a drink, the mood is always jolly, and if you're into the scene thing, you'll probably go home with someone. I Strongly recommend you check it out - tonight!

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