John Fink buys Stokehouse Q from Frank Van Haandel

The Fink Group will reopen the Stokehouse Q venue at South Bank as an OTTO Italian restaurant early next year.

John Fink has purchased the Stokehouse Q restaurant in Brisbane’s South Bank from other hospitality heavyweights – Frank and Sharon Van Haandel.

The leasehold deal – between the respective businesses, Fink Group and Van Haandel Group, will result in a rebrand of the diner to OTTO.

The Siddon Street, South Brisbane, property is owned by Queensland government statutory authority South Bank Corporation.

The Van Haandel Group has sold Stokehouse Q.

Chesters Michael Platsis and Greer Gittoes said while their transaction will see the departure of Stokehouse Q “an equally acclaimed national brand is a fantastic outcome for the precinct and Brisbane dining scene”.

John is the son of hospitality veteran and property developer Leon and Margaret Fink, a movie producer behind The Removalists, My Brilliant Career and For Love Alone .

The Fink portfolio includes four wholly owned venues – Quay, Bennelong, and OTTOs, which serves Italian food, in Sydney and Brisbane (at 480 Queen St, which will be relocated to South Bank early next year).

It co-controls Firedoor in Sydney’s Surry Hills and Beach Byron Bay.

The Van Haandel Group recently closed its St Kilda Stokehouse due to round-two lock-downs in Melbourne.

It said its decision to sell Stokehouse Q was also COVID-19 led; that venue has been the subject of an extended shut-down (story continues below).

The deal comes a year since the Van Haandel Group’s 12 year lease ended at the Beach Hotel, about a kilometre away from Beach Byron Bay.

Deal sealed in a month

In this Broadsheet item, John Fink said Stokehouse’s riverside location “was too good an opportunity to turn down” and that the decision came out of the blue.

“One minute I’m sitting in my office scratching my head about what we were doing next, and the next I was talking to Frank…the discussions probably took place over the past month, maybe even less than that”.

Of the site near the arts precinct, the businessman said that coming from an artistic family “I know a lot of the pople in that world up there – it just makes a lot of sense for us to be in that space”.

“Otto is a waterside brand, he added. “In Sydney, Otto is on the harbour in Wooloomooloo”.

Other than the kitchen, the contemporary Stokehouse Q space isn’t expected to be greatly re-fit.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of