The NightQuarter will bring something pretty unique to the Gold Coast when it opens on Saturday 28 November.
It’s being pegged as the City’s new culture and entertainment precinct, located smack-bang in the middle of Helensvale adding a much-needed burst of colour and sound in an empty block adjacent to the Railway Station.
More than a hundred vendors will ply their wares which will include food, art, craft and fashion concepts, offering a mix-and-match eating adventure and all going down in a purpose-built space, created from shipping containers.
146 shipping containers,” Managing Director Ian van der Woude said. “With 120 vendors. We’ve got builders finishing off and vendors starting their fit-outs.
He said those vendors had to submit plans for approval for their containers and they’re now busy doing up their interiors, installing signage and bringing in stock.
“There’s a lot of activity on site at the moment,” Ian said. “You get the normal issues with any large project, but we’re on time and things have gone fairly smoothly.”
Confirmed market stalls include Gypsy and the Officer, Zyloe Design, Ellee-Jay Floristry, Frankly All By Hand and even Luigi & Sons Barbers. There was stiff competition to secure sites in the market many months before its scheduled opening date. And Ian said they were literally swamped with applications from food vendors.
“We have over 300 foodies on the waiting list,” he said. “Even though we’ve advertised that it’s been filled, we still get calls and emails from people wanting to come in.”
Food is the biggest area of the market and there are distinct precincts within the space for carnival food, street food and Australia’s first micro restaurant precinct.
Confirmed food vendors include Longboards Burgers, Earth & Steam Coffee and Cronuts, Polly Pretzel, Brooklyn Meatball Bar, Kemuri Japanese plus gnocchi, funnel cakes, tapas and more. It’s enough to make your mouth water before you’ve even set foot inside the place. And Australian chef and TV star Ben O’Donoghue has also joined the team as an ambassador for NightQuarter’s food offerings.
“He’s just launched a new TV Show on Channel 7,” Ian said, “called Aussie BBQ Heroes. He’ll be onsite at the VIP launch next Friday and the public launch next Saturday.”
Ian said the idea for NightQuarter came about when he and partner Michelle Christoe – a well known identity in the Australian food industry and Executive Director of the Australian Horticulture Exporters’ Association – were travelling two and a half years ago.
“We were sitting in a piazza while a festival was occurring. And as we thought about it we combined some of our ideas over recent years – mine coming from hospitality and her’s from a food marketing background.”
And so Michelle and Ian crafted the different precincts you will soon find at Nightquarter. Hawker Street full of street food and a Malaysian hawker market vibe. Tapas Street transporting you to the side streets of Spain and Italy with small restaurants and small menus.
“And then The Backyard,” Ian said. “The feel of an outback pub where you can cook your own BBQ on Australian sustainable natural hardwoods.”
Ian explained that each night will see a different hardwood fed into each of the two “massive”, custom built fire grills, each bringing their own unique wood-fired flavour.
“We’re bringing the Aussie bush taste into the suburbs,” Ian said. “It’s the old way – that full flavour of BBQing over wood.”
Food aside, the NightQuarter is also set to become a new hub for the Gold Coast’s burgeoning music scene. A dedicated live music and performance space called The Paddock takes centre stage and will become a platform for emerging Gold Coast artists. With capacity for 2000 there’s no doubt it fills a massive gap in the City’s current live music offerings.
“Bands will perform on a large stage with good production and we’ve got a 10m x 6m festival stage that’s in place permanently,” he continued.
The lineup in the first few months and into the new year focuses on Gold Coast music, with some of the city’s best talent securing slots. Hanlon Brothers, CC The Cat and Felicity Lawless will help the venue come out of the blocks firing on opening night (28 November). Hussy Hicks, Alone Alaska, Jake Whittaker, Ella Fence, Aquila Young and Black Rabbit George all have confirmed dates and a bunch of touring acts are starting to creep onto the lineup as well with Nattali Rize, and The Cairos already confirmed.
Alice Conway is the Marketing and Entertainment Manager for NightQuarter and it’s her job to book bands. She’s working with Polly Snowden (Gold Coast Music Awards Music Champion of the Year) as well as other artists and managers to source quality talent.
“Our initial focus is Gold Coast artists – we think there’s such great talent on the Gold Coast. We really want to give a platform to all those artists who’ve been playing around the city – to show we’re there for up and coming artists,” she said.
“Then we’re also looking to book from around southeast Queensland to support local talent and then we’re looking to move into attracting touring artists in the New Year,” Alice said.
She’s excited about opening night and rightly so. With Hanlon Brothers, CC The Cat and Felicity Lawless all confirmed they’re expecting bumper crowds. “And then we’ve got the Hussy Hicks playing the week after that,” she said.
“The community response has been great and we’re hoping it’ll be a great night to showcase NightQuarter,” Alice said.
Cheap Fakes, Jake Whittaker , Hanlon Brothers , CC the Cat, Hussy Hicks, Katie Who , Josh Lovegrove , Taylor, C90 Superchrome , Dubmarine, Fox and Fiasco , Ginger and the Ghost , Leopold’s Treat , Felicity Lawless, Black Rabbit George , Avaberee, Matty Rogers, Benny D Williams , Alone Alaska, Seeka, The Lyrical, Nattali Rize, Hot Potato , Nicky Convine , The Twine, Gabriel and Cecilia, City Over Sand, Hemingway , Aquila Young , Matiu Te huki, OKA, Neighbour, The Cairos, Francis Wolves, Wandering Eyes, Yes Sir Noceur, Big Strong Brute, Good Oak, Chocolate Strings, The Unusual Suspects, Ella Fence, Banff