Brisbane's laneways are getting busier with the opening of Corbett & Claude in the basement of heritage-listed Telecommunications House, adjacent to St Stephen's Cathedral.
This building stared life in 1907 as the headquarters and clubrooms for the Commercial Travellers Association of Queensland, a pre-internet time when commercial travellers were an important part of retailing in early Queensland. They travelled all over the colony with samples and taking orders to clients.
It became Corbett Chambers in 2009 when the building was purchased and restored by the Corbett family. So it's a nice full circle that this building is once again a place where people can eat and drink more than 100 years later.
A bar and eatery, Corbett & Claude fits perfectly into the Elizabeth Street building's basement and is big on character and clean styling with a touch of heritage. There's also Mr Claude, named after the architect who designed the building, Claude Chambers, and designed for travellers on the go with take away options for breakfast and lunch.
There's also a Corbett & Claude on Station Road at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre.
The menu at this venue is a tight bar dining mix of pizzas and share plates. There are additional options of freshly made cabinet salads with a choice of chicken, prawn or meatballs and a premium selection of deli items so you can create your own grazing platter.
It's nothing complicated, but a menu designed to offer quick, satisfying food for lunch and dinner.
Interesting choices on the pizza menu include grilled prawns with rocket and chilli jam, crispy proscuitto with caramelised pineapple and house-made meat balls with caramelised oinion crisp proscuitto and bbq sauce of course.
The deli platter option deserves to be explored, especially since Corbett & Claude have installed a pretty smick hand-operated slicer to ensure optimum flavours in the their sliced meats. No heating up the goods during slicing here.
There are also share places with meat balls, pan fried gnocchi and those meat balls again.
The drinks option includes several ales on tap along with wine. Cocktails also are on offer. There's a cosy bar seating area that's sure to prove poplar for after work drinks.
It's only a matter of time till this venue expands into the laneway with tables and umbrellas to make the most of the site.
I discovered this venue thanks to Brisbane Greeter Blair Allsopp who you may have seen on The Great South East. Brisbane Greeters is a free public service open to all and a great way to discover things about Brisbane that you never knew. Blair surprised me with the depth and breadth of history and interest that he shared. Thanks for a great day Blair.
Corbett & Claude is open Monday to Saturday from 7am at Mr Claude's and until late at Corbett & Claude.
Ed+bK rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Bottom line: Pizzas range from $16 to $23, salads are $12 with an extra $4 for protein, share plates are priced from $6 to $15.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK paid for her lunch and drinks but was gifted a deli platter.