Hot Plates: Bordertown BBQ & Taqueria, Noosa

Author: Fiona Donnelly
Photography: Courtesy of Bordertown

Did you hear the one about the owners who poured their own bar? In this case it's a cool, straight-edged concrete beauty stretching slightly more than seven metres - almost the full length of Sunshine Coast newcomer Bordertown BBQ & Taqueria's river-facing digs.

The not-so-mean streets of Noosaville are the somewhat unlikely location for this hip, Southern-accented venture from Cam Birt, co-founder of classic cocktail bar The Bowery in Brisbane.

"It's ended up looking a bit sexier than we imagined," says Birt. "The original idea was to create something more down-home, rib-shack-chic in style. "It looks like an inner-city bar, which wasn't the intention - but it's what it is.

Birt knows a bit about inner-city bars, and to create Bordertown he's joined forces with his wife, CC Smith, a co-founder of ground-breaking Fortitude Valley music venue The Zoo, and with long-time friend Dan Bechly, a former co-owner of The Buffalo Club, the ambitious Fortitude Valley dégustation venue Birt originally opened with The Bowery's Steph Canfell in 2010.

The trio's new all-hands-to-the-pump offering couldn't be more different from the projects that have preceded it.

The 50-seater is an airy all-day prospect, bringing a blend of breakfast, tacos, burgers, booze, and low and slow barbecue to Noosa, with Birt temporarily in the kitchen alongside Lloyd Ringer, late of Pearl Café, Woolloongabba.

There's a 20-metre Acapulco deck out front that's becoming a popular morning spot for Padre coffee and, say, a breakfast 'sammich' with house-made chorizo, Velveeta cheese, bacon and a fried egg in a brioche bun, or 'elevensies', perhaps, of Texas one-inch toast with chilli beef, pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole.

From midday until closing, a handful of nicely detailed tacos and burgers kick in - anything from pork carnitas with char-grilled pineapple salsa, to mushroom burgers with chipotle ketchup - or perhaps a Southern fried chicken number with slaw and pickles.

The drinks list will change frequently but for now there's a slew of freshly minted options that run from an alcoholic Bordertown Cola made in-house with sassafras, vermouth and Fernet Branca to the likes of a Cynar Julep, a jalapeño Margarita with yuzu jam, or a G&T made with house tonic. A Sunshine Coast-brewed saison from Brouhaha leads the craft beer line-up, and the wine list is short but quirky.

"Each drink will have its reference points to the southern states of the US or Mexico, or it will be something that I like to drink - like gin and tonic," says Birt. "Noosa doesn't really have any destination cocktail bars. There needs to be somewhere locals can get a fantastic drink made well - and we really hope Noosa can get accustomed to us being that option."

Bordertown BBQ & Taquería, 253 Gympie Tce, Noosaville, Qld (07) 5442 4242,

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