Forget about all the stories and its sleazy past, Bubbles Bathhouse in Fortitude Valley is about to be transformed into a stylish new bar and bistro.
Steered by Brisbane hospitality heavyweight Damien Griffiths, the seedy underground casino and massage parlour from the late 80s will be transformed into a themed bar and bistro featuring a 15-person spa bath in-house.
Back in the day, Bubbles Bathhouse was allegedly a notorious hangout for corrupt cops and sleazy politicians and at one stage it was ‘massage parlour’, but its new owners are hoping to clean up its reputation.
During construction the venue will be tiled to recreate the atmosphere of a bar from the 70s, and Damien has even commissioned portraits of Hinze and another former police commissioner, Terry Lewis (who was jailed for corruption) as a reminder of the bathhouse’s history.
Above the bar will be Le Bubbles – a French bistro with leather booth seats. The bistro will have an American style diner theme and boast a authentic Gallic menu, executed by chef Norman Harvey. The menu will consist of steaks and all you can eat fries as well as more steak and fries, among other delicious diner style foods.
And, unlike any other bar and bistro (probably in the world), the diner will have a 15-person spa to be used by guests.
“It’s meant to be used. At Bubbles anything can happen,” Damien Griffiths told goodfood.
Damien, who owns Alfred and Constance, Limes Hotel, Kwan Brothers and Doughtnut Time, hopes the redevelopment of the Bathhouse will breathe life into an often forgotten corner of the Valley.
“Originally what I wanted to do was activate this corner site, but in the end, I thought I might try to clean up the area and attract a different kind of demographic.”
The venue, on the corner of Wickham and Little Street, hasn’t been unused for quite some time and prior to that housed a Vietnamese restaurant.
The new bar and bistro is set to open up in September.