Vince Lombino and Jared Thibault have always had big plans for South City Square.

They began late last year by opening Sasso Italiano, their funky Italian eatery that now fills with diners five nights a week. It was recently joined by Bar Sasso and later this month will welcome as its neighbour Casa Chow, a Chinese-Peruvian bar and restaurant. Other upcoming venues include a brewpub and a 40-seat Mad Men-inspired chophouse.

Still, at the centre of their plans – in part because its location places it right in the centre of the development itself, with its supermarket, cinemas and various shops – has always been a gin garden.

“This will be a gathering place,” Lombino says. “The heartbeat of the centre.”

Lombino is talking about Purple Palm, a gin bar and pocket distillery that will open mid-August in a Palm Springs-inspired open-air location flanked by 20-foot palm trees.

“It’s a minimal spot,” Thibault says. “It’s open-air, and will be open seven days a week, 11am to 9pm. It’s right near where the escalators come up from the car park, so it’s right in the middle of the action, in the middle of the foot traffic.”

Sasso might be where you go to catch up with family over pizza and pasta, and Casa where you drink and dance the night away with friends. But Purple Palm will be Lombino and Thibault’s everyday venue, a 60-seater fitted out in crisp concrete and stone, and arranged around an island bar with a 10-foot wall of gin. And it has a major point of difference: a still operated by award-winning South Australian gin distillery 78 Degrees.

“I have a long-time relationship with Jeremy Spencer, one of the founders of The West Winds gin,” Thibault says. “He’s now with Mighty Craft, who recently purchased 78 Degrees, and they wanted a presence [for the gin] in Brisbane.

“Sacha [La Forgia], the 78 Degrees distiller, is one of the best gin distillers in the world. Vince and I run really good venues, but we’ve never made gin before. So it’s an amazing collaboration and the perfect timing. The conversation started about nine months ago, but it only became official in [mid-June].

“We’re collaborating on the gin. They’ll start off-site for opening and then pull the distilling on-site.”

Beyond producing its own spirit, Purple Palm’s drinks list will be anchored in Mighty Craft’s wider gin portfolio, which also includes Seven Seasons and Kangaroo Island Spirits. Beers will include Brisbane brewers such as Slipstream, Ballistic Beer Co and Aether. Wines will be kept to a tight list of local producers. There will also be Greyhounds (gin mixed with grapefruit juice and served over ice), Salty Dogs (the same drink but with a salted rim) and Southsides on tap.

“Every product we have in the bar will be entirely Australian,” Thibault says. “So for example, we won’t use a tequila but an agave spirit made by Mt Uncle Distillery [in the Atherton Tablelands] so we can mix Margaritas. We’ll use their rum as well. All the garnishes will be grown in the garden. We’re using [Byron Bay’s] Strangelove for our mixers.”

There won’t be a food menu, but customers will be able to order from Purple Palm’s neighbouring sister venues, depending on the time of day.

“It’s just gonna be real chill,” Lombino says. “The music’s gonna be really chill. The fit-out’s really stylish. And we’re gonna light the trees so as you pull in, the bar will be illuminated this beautiful violet, purple colour. It will be a beacon for the entire centre.”

Purple Palm by 78 Degrees will open at South City Square in Woolloongabba in mid-August.