Fans of the film Jerry Maguire (and that should be everyone) will remember Cuba Gooding Jr’s character talking about “kwan” – a sense of mutual love and respect in their community. “Other football players might have the coin, but they don’t have the ‘kwan’” he tells Maguire. Next time we’re chatting we’ll have to ask Brisbane hospitality entrepreneur Damian Griffiths if that is in any way relevant to Kwan Brothers, his new restaurant, or whether it’s just a cool-sounding Asian name to reflect the Asian street food his chefs are cooking up. There’s certainly a feast of other pop culture references going on here, so why not?
Who else to help Griffiths turn his concept into reality than Brisbane’s go-to interiors man Alexander Lotersztain? The pair have collaborated on a huge number of the city’s most noteworthy venues, and Kwan Bros is next door to Alfredo’s Pizzeria – another of theirs – on Alfred Street. Those pop culture elements range from the retro disco balls to the contemporary urban art murals, with a lavish helping of Asian motifs and a theatrical robata flaming grill at the heart. It’s open late 7 days a week, all times of the day, and holds an intriguing little secret; the hidden bar is the first Australian project from New York maestro Richard Boccato.