I’m currently visiting my home town of Brisbane. All my family live here and although I visit regularly (not often enough if you ask them, though) I have not lived here for 14 years. It holds lots of memories and one was rekindled the other night when I went to a new venue called Cloudland.
Any Brisbanite over the age of 35 will remember the original Cloudland that was built in 1939 high on a hill in the inner city suburb of Bowen Hills. It was well known for it’s signature parabolic entrance arch and spectacular ballroom. Thousands of people visited Cloudland for dances and concerts and in World War II it served as a military base. University and school exams were also held in the massive ballroom.
As a primary school student, I remember the excitement of the Fancy Dress Ball. Getting decked out in a home-made costume and traipsing up the steps to that HUGE coloured arch. Dancing the Gypsy Tap, Boston Two Step and Mexican Hat Dance on the sprung floor. It was truly awesome. Then as a young adult heading back up the hill for rock concerts with good Aussie bands like Cold Chisel, Mental As Anything and Australian Crawl.
But in the dead of night, without a permit, the building was demolished in November 1982 to make way for an apartment complex.
Now, 27 years later, Cloudland is once again a Brisbane landmark. However its a different Cloudland this time. A few kilometres away in Fortitude Valley and adjacent to Brisbane’s Chinatown, a new venue has been developed bearing the same name. It’s a four story complex with bar, restaurant and night club and it is WOW!
The food was good but it was the decor I was interested in. There is so much to look at – sculptures, lights, plants, water features. I couldn’t work out what the style was meant to represent and then figured it was a conglomeration of every style. There’s retro outdoor type dining chairs and tables, Asian inspired banquet seating, slick modern lighting at the bar, sumptuious cushioned corners, LED lights under the floor, Fornasetti wallpaper and wall sconces in the ladies bathroom, marble, glass, timber, concrete, tiles, and the list goes on. It was amazing.
When I came home, I had to find out more about the reason this was all thrown together. Melbourne Designer, Nic Brunner is responsible for the design and “The whole idea is that when you go out, you don’t want to go somewhere that’s like a house.” He nailed it. If you’re in Brisbane, make sure you stop by for a drink or a meal. If it’s a warm night, the retractable roof might be open. Whenever you go, just allow plenty of time to drink in the decor.