Have you been to NightQuarter Sunshine Coast? This new foodie night market and entertainment venue are set to be the place to meet this weekend. Located in the Sunshine Coast suburb of Birtinya, NightQuarter is a 15 to 20-minute drive from either Mooloolaba or Caloundra but this new venue is anything but suburban.
If the name sounds familiar that’s probably because it is. It’s the same incredibly popular venue that opened in Helensvale on the Gold Coast in 2015 and continued to get rave reviews until it closed in 2019 due to issues with the lease renewal. The search was on for a new home and I think where they have settled might be an even better find.
After some unavoidable delays with its 2020 opening, the gates will finally be flung open on Friday 6th November 2020. Opening Friday and Saturday nights from 4 pm and Sunday afternoons from noon until 6 pm it’s set to become a much anticipated new hub for entertainment on the coast.
The NightQuarter concept is the brainchild of Michelle Christoe who, seeing the way that food markets in Europe and Asia brought out the whole family in a festival atmosphere, knew that the concept was missing on the Sunshine Coast. The sunshine state has the perfect climate for outdoor events and beyond Australia’s main centres the idea is yet to be widely adopted.
The venue is a creative container city. Some are basically decorated while others have been overhauled beyond recognition as the Queensland rail shipping container they started out as. The market is far larger than we originally anticipated and is divided into precincts, streets and alleys to explore. There are two enormous barn-like structures, one over the Paddock and one covering a food alley and undercover seating. Other areas including Tapas Street and the Backyard are also undercover.
Stopping by Nightquarter for dinner and live music is a great option after a day relaxing on the local beaches, why not check out some of our top Sunshine Coast beaches too.
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A key component of the NightQuarter concept is that every week is a festival. This one is Winter Wonderland celebrating mid-winter Christmas with mulled wine, winter warmers and a high chance of ‘snow’. The following weekend Rio Carnivale is due to hit town as we celebrate from afar. To find out what’s on over the next month you can see the schedule on their site.
Support for local artists and enterprise
Over the course of a weekend up to 20 bands will play at the sound stages around the venue, most of them featuring local talent. There’s something for all ages and tastes but our personal favourite this night involved hanging around the XXXX bar for a good portion of the evening listening to covers from 70 bands including the Eagles and Dragon, a band from our NZ homeland.
We were invited up to the Gallery, a private function area above the Paddock. Now that is some creative use of shipping containers! Great artwork up there too from a couple of much loved local artists The Zookeeper and Jay Beez. The design for the function space was another example of local collaboration. Design students from the local TAFE were invited to submit a design concept for the space with the winner chosen by public vote. They then got to oversee their design being bought to life and officially opened, a fabulous experience for a student.
And the food?
No matter how little you eat during the day you can never fully do a venue like this justice so take as many friends as you can rustle up so you can test out the variety of great dishes on offer. A few notable mentions from the evening.
- The gnocchi with wild mushrooms and truffle sauce from Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers in the Tapas Hall. No it’s not photogenic but it’s absolutely crammed full of flavour.
- The trio of bao from Kemuri filled with Japanese inspired fillings. You need to try the tempura soft shell crab and their bao is super light and fluffy. Divine. You’ll can find Kemuri in the Tapas Hall too.
- The smoky and delicious lamb and beef skewers from the Backyard BBQ. OMG who do I bribe to get to cook on that grill?
- The Melt Chocolate Fountain fully loaded shakes opposite the XXXX bar
- The super pretty toffee apples from Sticky Dees
- The ladies with the never flagging energy at World Famous Funnel Cakes who never stopped smiling, dancing and serving out very pretty desserts
- The tender and delicious taste sample from the Calamari stand just when I couldn’t fit in one more plate. Never mind, we will be back.
NightQuarter Visitor Information
8 The Avenue, Birtinya, QLD, 4575
Every Friday and Saturday night from 4 pm until 10 pm and on Sundays afternoons from noon until 6 pm.
Conveniently located adjacent to the Stockland Birtinya Shopping Centre there should be no shortage of parking, there are several bus stops nearby on Kawana Way and a taxi rank at the entrance to the main car park.
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