Handcrafted is the theme at newly opened Habitat, a third venue offering from rugby legend Scott Higginbotham and business partner Malcolm Watts.

Apart from being the perfect habitat for those seeking a hub for after work drinks, casual Sunday afternoons with music, interesting food options and a wide selection of craft beer, wine, and cocktails, it’s also home to an ant farm. This ‘habitat’ is encased in glass but also designed so the ants can come out to be fed.

There’s also beer taps made from fire hydrants dating from 1937 purchased spontaneously from a swap meet, milk bottle ‘chandelier’ lighting made out of water piping and milk bottles designed in Melbourne, table tops from a recycled bridge in Kyogle and a bar top made with heavy polished concrete slab crafted with reptile footprints dotted across the bar top.

Malcom Watts says the partners were looking for an expansion opportunity based on the success of their second venue.

“In the last two years we have been learning and developing through our first two ventures Leaf Espresso and Moose and Gibson,” says Malcolm Watts.

“Previously we had no hospitality experience. Scott’s background is in rugby and mine is in finance. We came together with passion and determination to create a brand and make our mark in the Brisbane food/café and bar scene which has culminated in Habitat. This venue is bigger, more restaurant focused rather than café like the other two businesses.

“Habitat is about creating our own ecosystem within West End, and we’ve achieved the synergy with our theming with the inclusion of hand-crafted rustic timber, a live ant bar and tree designs.”

Live performances are part of the Habitat promise and their Friday and Sunday nights calendars will be worth watching. Also take a look behind the bar as local singer songwriter and 2013 The Voice finalist Jac Stone, who welcomed guests on the opening night of Habitat, also doubles as a bartender by day.

“With both indoor and outdoor service bars, offering a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, as well as a street-espresso bar, the venue caters a wide range tastes and is versatile for a variety of occasions,” says Malcolm.