Airport Retail Enterprises and Brisbane Airport to open The Independent restaurant featuring revolving roster of star chefs

AUSTRALIA. SSP-owned Airport Retail Enterprises and Brisbane Airport are partnering to open an innovative new dining concept in the Domestic Terminal this July.

Named The Independent, the high-class eatery will feature menus from a revolving roster of nationally acclaimed Australian chefs and emerging local talents.

The first dining professional to share his creations at the venue will be acclaimed Australian chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan. He will be presenting his distinctive French-Asian brasserie-style cuisine.

Other nationally and locally acclaimed chefs will follow Mangan’s lead. New headline names will showcase their signature dishes and experiment with flavours over what Brisbane Airport described as “a seasonal varied period residency”.

An artist’s impression of the spacious new restaurant at Brisbane Airport

Mangan’s custom menu will feature his signature dishes, including Queensland seafood, Mooloolabah prawn roll, the classic prawn cocktail, tuna sashimi nachos and tacos, Sydney Rock Oysters, seafood towers for two, market fish and succulent steaks.

The venue will also have Brisbane Airport’s most extensive beverage offering, pouring more than 50 Australian spirits, predominately from the Queensland market. These include Margaritas using local agave spirit from Northern Queensland to Green Ant gin by the Larrakia people to Kangaroo Island Spirits from South Australia.

These beverages will be complemented by an international and Japanese whisk(e)y menu, a rotating selection of local and independent craft beers, wines from City Winery Brisbane and a comprehensive low and non-alcoholic beverage menu.

Star chef: Luke Mangan’s portfolio includes the Glass Brasserie at Sydney Hilton and Luke’s Table at the Pylon Lookout at Sydney Harbour Bridge. Renowned as a ‘chef to the stars’, he has cooked for former US President Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson, Tom Cruise and Danish Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Mary. (Image courtesy of Luke Mangan & Company)

Brisbane Airport Executive General Manager of Commercial Martin Ryan said: “Brisbane Airport is investing A$7.8 million (US$5.2 million) as part of the Southern Terminal retail redevelopment – including new and refreshed dining experiences – and we are delighted to welcome The Independent as one of this precinct’s crowning jewels.

“This venue is more than a restaurant; it really is about reimagining the dining scene of travellers and that doesn’t just begin when you get to your holiday destination. A large part of the travel and culinary experience begins when you arrive at the airport.

“Having a chef with the international pedigree and reputation of Luke Mangan helming the restaurant’s launch will certainly elevate the airport experience for the thousands of passengers and visitors who pass through each day.

“And the great feature is you can come back after a few months and it will be an entirely new menu.”

Mangan commented: “I am thrilled to be part of the launch of The Independent at Brisbane Airport, bringing travellers the opportunity to enjoy a great meal with us before they embark on their journey.

“This partnership is a wonderful milestone, marking the first time the Luke Mangan brand is showcased at Brisbane Airport.”

Airport Retail Enterprises National Operations Manager Corey Law said: “The Independent offers travellers a space to relax with a great meal amid a stunning design inspired by the Brisbane river featuring calming blue and green hues, shimmering surfaces and warm tropical timbers.

“Through our innovative restaurant and dining concepts, including The Common, Newstead Brewing Co., Seeds by Bruno Loubet – a one-star Michelin Chef – and Brisbane’s MICA Patisserie by Shannon Kellam which debuted in December 2023, we’ve witnessed remarkable success.

“The Independent is one of our most ambitious Australian airport projects and we are honoured to debut the latest fresh concept as part of Brisbane Airport’s multi-million-dollar redevelopment.”

Airport Retail Enterprises National Operations Manager Corey Law (left) chats with The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie at the F&B operator’s Newstead Brewing Co outlet in the Domestic Terminal last week. Look out for our extensive report on Brisbane Airport’s rapidly evolving food & beverage offer as the Future BNE project takes shape.

The Independent will join newly opened LOCAL and Motto Motto in Brisbane Airport’s Domestic Terminal, which is being upgraded as part of the A$5 billion (US$3.31 billion) Future BNE transformation project.  ‍

Click on the image to read Martin Moodie’s on-location report from Brisbane Airport last week which focused on the ten-year renewal of the contractual partnership between Brisbane Airport Corporation and Lotte Duty Free as well as previewing our extensive planned coverage of the Future BNE project

Note: Airport Retail Enteprises,Australia’s leading airport food & beverage operator announced in February it had struck an agreement to sell 100% of its Australian business to international foodservices giant SSP.

Airport Retail Enteprises, founded in 1971 by entrepreneur Peter Butts with an inaugural operation at Perth Airport, operates a much-respected F&B portfolio in international and domestic terminals within six airports across Australia. It also has businesses in three UK airports but these were excluded from the deal and continue to be led by the Butts family.

Note: The Moodie Davitt Report publishes the FAB Newsletter, which features highlights of openings, events and campaigns from around the world of airport and travel dining.

Please email for your complimentary subscription.

The world’s only event dedicated solely to the airport food & beverage and hospitality sectors makes a welcome return to the US in June. Please contact The Moodie Davitt Report Associate Director, Events Vincci Chung at for details. You can visit the event website here
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