HAVE you heard the one about the lawyer and the developer who walk into a bar?
If not, you're about to, because the punchline is that Mooloolaba's newest venue Backlane Tapas and Wine Bar - brainchild of legal eagle Leisa Toomey and developer Walter Iezzi - is only weeks away from opening.
Head chef Nathan Rumble has been given licence to create culinary magic, with a hand-picked kitchen team, while the wine list has been crafted by the Coast's resident vino boffin Travis Schultz, a long-time business partner of Ms Toomey.
Ms Toomey said they felt Mooloolaba was "evolving" and the timing was right to offer a venue which she hoped would not be seen as competition, but as an additional attraction to what has already been established.
Wine lovers and foodies look set to lap it up when the new venue on Mooloolaba's First Ave opens in late-September.
With capacity to hold about 90 people, Mr Iezzi says the project, about six months in the making, has been an exciting one.
Eye-catching concrete bars, complete with branding etched into the main bar, Italian tiles and wallpaper by a Lebanese architect will all add to the experience for diners and drinkers.
Outdoor dining will also be available, and a seasonal menu accompanied by a wine list Mr Schultz will continue to be refreshed to match the menu, is hoped to keep customers interested and generate plenty of return visits.
"We've been very happy to drag him (Schultz) in," Ms Toomey said.
Mr Iezzi said late-night dining would also be a feature, as he wanted customers to know they could still go and grab a drink and a late-night Tapas plate after 10pm.
"The food is priority one," he said.
Ms Toomey said a number of functions had already been booked in and she was hoping people would "embrace it" when the venue at the Cilento building opened its doors.
"We want to bring people back to Mooloolaba," she said.
"We're about promoting our patch."
Mr Schultz said he was looking forward to opening night and said price points had been catered to allow for wine tastes of all budgets.
He said there would be a number of wine brands recognisable, but the goal was to offer wines not readily available at bottle shops, and he'd worked his contacts and distribution connections to make that possible.
Mr Schultz joked it had been tough work to narrow down the wine list.
Back Lane's website advises it will open from 3pm-late, Tuesday-Sunday.