Get set for mouth-watering burger nights, fun-filled family feasts and, of course, Friday knock-off drinks – iconic American hospitality brand TGI Fridays has officially arrived in Queensland! The pioneering New York-style bar and grill has swung open its doors at Robina Town Centre, with Gold Coast folks to be first in the Sunshine State get a taste of its mouth-watering menu of eats and drinks – which is all dished up with a hefty side serving of that warm, convivial American hospitality.
TGI Fridays’ Queensland debut marks the brand's 14th Australian location, joining a mammoth stable of around 1000 restaurants across 60 countries. Originating in Manhattan in the 1960s, TGI Fridays originally made its mark as a dedicated female-friendly singles bar, using quality cocktails, fun vibes and eclectic decor to attract unchaperoned singles – which, at the time, was a concept relatively unheard of. Back then, TGI Fridays was also known as the pioneer of the 'happy hour', which was introduced in a bid to offer discounted drinks to transient Pan Am stewardesses – and from there, it became one of the cornerstones of the American social scene. Though, over the years, the brand has evolved and transformed significantly into a more family-friendly offering, becoming known across the globe for delivering crowd-pleasing food served in a relaxed, casual setting. Since Signature Hospitality Group, a company spearheaded by industry veteran James Sinclair, acquired the Australian arm of TGI Fridays in 2017, the brand has again been reinvented, adopting a smaller footprint and modernised fit-outs, with a more refined and tailored food offering to resonate with the local market.
The extensive menu is designed to please the crowds, covering everyone from the sports lovers that want a burger and a beer in front of the latest footy match, through to families of fussy eaters, those that want a cocktail and a few bar snacks, group dining and special occasions (hint/warning – if it's your birthday, the entire restaurant, including the chefs, will stop and sing to you). Start with the saucy chicken wings – basted in your choice of six sauces – as a prelude to the share-style starters and snacks. Think crunchy mac'n'cheese bites dipped with roasted-garlic aioli, crumbed mozzarella sticks, panko-crumbed crispy chicken strips, and loaded potato skins and potato twisters, which are made even more indulgent when topped with combinations like creamy mac'n'cheese with crispy bacon. Consider yourself a burger connoisseur? Prepare to drool. TGI Fridays uses Queensland-sourced grass-fed beef patties across its key burgers, including the hero – the towering Fridays Signature with two patties basted in its (addictive) Jack Daniel's glaze before being stacked high with melted American cheese, peppered bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, roasted-garlic aioli and Cajun-spiced onion rings. There's a selection of succulent steaks and slow-cooked, flame-grilled ribs to get stuck into, served with side options like roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, slaw and shoestring fries. The menu also features chicken wraps and a series of colourful salads for a lighter option, while plant-based and gluten-free eaters will be met with plenty of options, including the TGI Fridays own vegan cheeseburger, which uses Hungry Planet premium plant-based protein patties. To finish? While the apple crisp and the warm brownie with squirts of hot chocolate fudge are tempting, the Cookie Sundae will take you back to your childhood days (when your metabolism was fast) and comes loaded with Oreos, biscuits, whipped cream and a cherry on top.
The decor and seating is centred around the main bar – and it's for good reason, with TGI Fridays' sipping material playing a huge role in the venue. If you're into cocktails (and even if you're not), you'll want to explore the compendium, which covers New York City-born cocktails (hellooo burnt-orange Manhattan), plus all of your classics, house favourites and oversized Ultimates Cocktails. There's also a raft of tapped and bottled beers (local, national and American brews), all of the shades of wine, plus eye-popping thick shakes like the hot-fudge-topped Extreme S'moreo – go ahead and add nip of spirits to make it boozy. However you roll, be sure to soak up the vibe at TGI Fridays world-famous Happy Hour sessions from 4:00–6:00 pm daily, with cheap pints, cocktails, spirits and wines on pour.
To celebrate its opening, TGI Fridays Robina will be giving away 100 free burgers on Saturday December 14 – the burger bonanza starts at 11:00 am for the first 100 customers. Then, on Sunday December 15, it'll host a Family Fun Day with free face painting, a prize wheel and massive giveaways!