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Exclusive first look inside the new GPO Hotel

Originally posted by Courier Mail and written by Anooska Tucker-Evans | July 6, 2023

After a mammoth $9m makeover, Fortitude Valley’s iconic GPO Hotel is set to reopen. Here’s your EXCLUSIVE first look at the new restaurant and bars.

Stage one of Brisbane’s iconic GPO Hotel is set to open this weekend after a mammoth $9m makeover, with more than 1000 VIP guests to be welcomed through the doors and the new restaurant completely booked out.

Host Charlotte Lee with a Rhatz cocktail in The Gatsby bar at the GPO in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Artesian Hospitality Group, known for Gold Coast venues Surfers Pavilion, White Rhino and Cali Beach, is behind the dramatic transformation of the Heritage-listed, 1887-built former general post office, introducing three new venues inside the Fortitude Valley site.

Taking centre stage will be 100-seat restaurant Tama, fronted by coveted chef Richard Ousby (ex-Stokehouse), which will serve a contemporary, produce-driven menu running from caviar tarts and crab pasta to seafood platters and premium steak.

The Tama restaurant at the GPO in Fortitude Valley.

“I think the goal is to make it just delicious, approachable and a little bit elevated,” Mr Ousby said, with the restaurant offering a fine dining experience in terms of food and service, while keeping it approachable and relaxed.

A lounge in The Gatsby bar.

The food will be matched to an extensive 400-500-bottle wine list curated by Artesian Hospitality partner and award-winning sommelier Alan Hunter, with drops moving from the easy drinking and affordable to the extravagant such as exclusive bottles of Dom Perignon secured through an ambassador deal and $6000 bottles of 2008 Krug Clos du Mesnil.

“The market is hungry for it so we’re trying to source far and wide and we’re building some vintage depth in there too,” Mr Hunter said of the restaurant’s premium Champagne offering.

The Gatsby bar at the GPO in Fortitude Valley.

Also opening this weekend inside the venue will be The Gatsby, a theatrical, 1920s-inspired bar on the second floor with a whopping 75-page drinks list of cocktails, wine, champagne, spirits and more; a gourmet snack menu, and a private vault with safety deposit boxes for VIP customers and guests to store their high-end wine or spirit purchases if they can’t finish them on the day.

One of the private dining rooms at the GPO.

The impressive revamp by design firm Space Cubed also includes the introduction of luxe private dining rooms, and a second public bar, due to officially open in August, called the Tax Office, complete with two bars, a DJ area, dance floor and private booths.

“(The new GPO) it’s a place where you can come for a dinner on a Wednesday night with your loved one, it’s a place you can come for drinks, it’s a lounge bar that throws you back to what it would have been like in the 1920s or the 1880s when this place would have been built, but it’s a new iteration of what exists for Brisbane as it matures into a more sophisticated market,” said Artesian managing partner Matt Keegan.