BOSC (Bar of Social Conscience) Review – + Surprise Philosophy.

Imagine the tapped craft beer line up of The Scratch

Now add the cocktail selection of The Lychee Lounge

Throw in the classy ambience of, say, The Malt Bar…

But juxtapose it with a scattering of boardgames…

Add eye of newt, stir three times counter clockwise, and you might have concocted a bar similar to Bosc in Brisbane’s West End. Bosc (which stands for Bar Of Social Conscience) has taken the best elements from Brisbane bars and thrown them together into one venue. This approach doesn’t always work – paradoxically, trying to please everyone often results in an awkward conglomerate of competing styles and interests that ultimately pleases no-one. It takes a sophisticated understanding of style, tastes, and the locality to effectively create a gimmick-free – yet still memorable – venue.


The décor at Bosc is aesthetically pleasing. Plant life sprouts from polished wooden bar-tops in this refreshingly roomy bar, and the lighting is perfectly unassuming. Yes, perfectly unassuming. Because that’s how lighting should be; it should be so fitting to the overall atmosphere that it’s unnoticeable.

SURPRISE PHILOSOPHY SEGUE: Aristotle thought that perfection is always as the intermediate between deficiency and excess – this theory is known as the ‘Virtue of the mean’ (or, more colloquially, the Goldilocks theory). Under this theory Courage is the intermediate between Cowardice and Rashness, a good sense of humour falls between Boorishness and Buffoonery, and the virtue of ‘Righteous Indignation’ (how about listing that attribute on your CV) falls between Spitefulness and Envy.

Bosc hits this Aristotelian mean with an extraordinary frequency – an understated, but supremely valuable achievement. Bosc is a bar that radiates a cool and calm atmosphere. The long central table adorned with board games induces effortless socialising with fellow Brisbanites. Running counter to current trends the bar is spacious and slick (rather than cramped and retro), and reminds you that ‘charm and homeliness’ are not the only attributes that can make a venue likable. Bosc is likable because of its chicness – it’s not homely, it’s better than home, yet it’s not so showy that it feels strained or artificial. Aristotle would be pleased.

aristotle*[This was the happiest image of Aristotle I could find]

I had a Bacchus brewed ‘white chocolate and raspberry pilsner’ (which tasted as delicious as it sounds) but could have had a vegan-wine or a gin-cocktail (one of Bosc’s specialties). Prices are fairly standard, however you can feel warm and fuzzy in the knowledge that 20% of Bosc’s annual turnover is donated to an orphanage in Mexico.

I really liked Bosc and I hope you will too.

Bosc is located at 69 Vulture Street, up the road from The End.

Review by Andrew Bloyce.

Bar of Social Conscience on Urbanspoon

4 thoughts on “BOSC (Bar of Social Conscience) Review – + Surprise Philosophy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About bloycey

I’m Andrew Bloyce – One of the founding members of HITW and the writer that you can probably identify from the reviews with the long personal anecdotes. I like to write about craft beer bars, hidden cafes, and restaurants that serve strange foods. I am always looking for new foodie experiences and enjoy putting my tastebuds on the line to sample whatever culinary risk Brisbane decides to embrace next: whether it’s ants, emu, or kale. Outside of HITW I work in marketing and website design, play the trombone in a jazz band, and work part-time for Uber.