Recently opening its doors, The Tree House bar can be found tucked away behind its older brother, The Lost Boys cafe. Owned and operated by Pixie, this little nook is a haven for nature-lovers and those that never want to grow old.
Chatting to the effervescent Pixie, with her pop pink hair and eternally youthful face, we learned about the origins of The Tree House and what to expect when you swing in.
Pixie describes it as “a tree house where lost kids and pirates can hang out, hide out and have a beverage or seven… To me, The Tree House and Lost Boys are platforms to send messages out into the universe about things that I care about and I believe to be important.
“For example, things like the environment, global warming, organic/local/sustainable farming, The Happiness Project and mental health. There are a few things behind the scenes that are in motion to put towards these. Profits from our water are being donated and our offsets go to helping a project in Africa lower their emissions and the death toll from cooking in an unsafe manner.”
Even though she is passionate about her beliefs, Pixie doesn’t necessarily want to push them onto her customers. “Personally, I don’t believe in preaching things,” she says. “I think it’s best to lead by example. I have been vegetarian for nine years and I would never ever expect anyone to stop eating meat just because I don’t eat it. Overall, The Tree House and Lost Boys have such a long way to go when it comes to perfecting what we are doing in all of the above areas but I believe every little bit counts. So even if we are only doing a small bit for someone or something other than ourselves, maybe the world might be a better place.”
She pauses, ponders and adds: “I also wanted a place where I could drink decent alcohol and listen to good music with my friends. So that’s been a bonus.”
The Tree House officially opened last Saturday April 11, and the beer taps will be ready for business Friday April 17. Pixie promises the venue will serve as a haven of “food, coffee, tequila, hugs, counselling sessions, hair cuts and high fives”.
Even though the idea of owning your own bar where your friends and family can come, hang out and be merry sounds ideal, Pixie acknowledges there have been challenges. “Where do I even begin? Besides the fact I have never run a business before, let alone three at once — that’s been a challenge and a learning process in its self.
“Choosing the alcohol was tricky. In the beginning, I was so set on having everything 100 per cent certified organic but over time, I realised sadly this wasn’t practical unless everyone was prepared to pay $15 to $20 for a basic drink. Understandably, this isn’t okay for anyone, including myself, so I moved on that a little and met in the middle… We’ll still have a heap of organic ciders and natural beers.
“That was a hard thing for me to push forward on, but at the end of the day, I need to think about the operational side of things as well as meet the demand of the public. So I am happy with the things we have now behind the bar
but the reality is there are so many things that get thrown at you on a daily basis. That’s a given with owning any business, but then there are the random things that happen. Like people stealing random things, like salt and pepper shakers and signs. This is why you can’t have nice things! Today someone decided to super glue the locks to Bakery Lane so no one could get into their businesses. People are the biggest challenges.”
But in amongst all those frustrating and challenging moments, she’s had some beautiful ones. “I have had so many. I LOVE the customers we get in, especially at Lost Boys. I have even been hanging out with a few of them after work! They are all so amazing and supportive and I am very thankful for every single person that walks through the door here.
“But I think some of the best moments are still to come. When I can breathe and actually sit back and look at how far we have come in the past six months, that will be a very, very good moment.”
The Tree House has been open for barely a week, but Pixie says the response from the public has been amazing.
“The customers we get here are just a different kind,” she enthuses. “They really are so understanding, helpful and loyal. I still remember the very first people that came in the door. At the end of the day, this is the smallest of small businesses and the appreciation I have for people that choose to come here is next level.”
So why choose Bakery Lane? “The family behind Bakery Lane just have this insane vision that I support completely and whole-heartedly. It’s the creative hub of people, life, ideas and energy. Just thinking about it makes me smile. The people behind Bakery Lane have been so supportive and have offered me more help than I could have ever imagined. Bakery Lane has only just begun but there is already this perfect vibe between all the shops and the tenants, we are like a little family. There are some super established players that are part of the laneway like The Bowery and La Rouche and I feel very lucky to be able to work with them as I look up to those guys so much.”
There are many interesting drinks on offer already, but Pixie’s favourite is, of course, ‘Pixies Fire’. She also recommends the chilli & lime ginger beer.
The food is in line with the offerings at Lost Boys (vegetarian and organic) but with more of a tapas style. For example, there are polenta chips, quinoa cakes, antipasto boards and stuffed peppers. There’s also more emphasis on vegan and gluten-free choices.
Come and sit under the lamps and hanging plants, sit on a tree trunk and sip your drink from a coconut shell. Everything about this place is a little magical, and once you find it, you probably won’t want to leave.
Make sure you click through the gallery above to see all the images!
The Tree House is located in Bakery Lane, Fortitude Valley, and is open seven days a week. For more information, check out our event guide.
Have you been to The Tree House yet? Let us know in the comments below.