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Tokyo’s Small Bar Scene Has Inspired A New Brisbane Venue

You’re bound to have a Golden Gai time.

A night spent bar-hopping in Shinjuku’s Golden Gai district in Tokyo has inspired the latest addition to Brisbane’s nightlife. Heya isn’t just the name of an Outkast song, or the Japanese word for room, it’s Fortitude Valley’s new “subterranean bar experience” – and it’s now open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 6pm.

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Descend down a flight of stairs, and you’ll encounter a basement-level labyrinth of four bars (including one dedicated to whisky), a gritty pool hall (complete with retro pinnies), a live venue space and no less than two kitchens specialising in pan-Asian street food. Located a stone’s throw from Chinatown at 367 Brunswick Street, Heya is run by the team behind popular local haunts The Gresham, Popolo and Libertine.

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Owners Andrew Baturo, Denis Sheahan and Paul Piticco said they wanted to recreate the experience of the Golden Gai district in Shinjuku, which jams 200 hundred bars into a meagre six alleyways. “We took that idea of a collection of intimate rooms and then added in a live space, food and a pool hall to create a super versatile venue that can be little or large and work in many different ways,” they said.

RELATED: JEREMY NEALE’S TOP 5 BRISBANE SPOTS.

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The trio promise a different experience each time – from a night dedicated to emerging musical talent to a rotating house band on Fridays.

(Images: Aimee Catt/supplied)

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