Memories, stories and tales

The greatest (sandwich) love of all

My favourite Brisbane Arcade memory? Can I say the sandwich bar in the middle of the arcade? It must have been about 30 or even 40 years ago. Seriously. Those sandwiches were the best I’ve ever had. I miss them. David, 68Read More!

A date with Darrell Lea

A trip in to the city was never complete without mum taking us to Darrell Lea for a treat at the end of the day’s shopping. We were allowed to choose one thing. My brother ALWAYS chose Rocklea Road. (I tried to discover something different every time.) Now that I have my own family, I […]Read More!

Umbrellas that lasted

I’ve never seen a store with a wider variety of quality umbrellas than Lind Umbrellas. My mother bought me an umbrella when I left high school, and it remained useful for a decade! In fact, Id’ still be using it, but for the fact that I left it in the public bar of the Regatta […]Read More!

A 1990s fashion reboot

Emerging and established Queensland fashion designers chose to open salons in Brisbane Arcade during the 1990s, a continuation of a 70-odd year Brisbane fashion tradition. Many of these designers were active entrants in the annual Retailers Association of Queensland (RAQ) fashion awards, and the arcade was home to a generous serve of RAQ award winners, […]Read More!

Brisbane Arcade in the 1980s – a community of artists

During the 1980s, the persona of Brisbane Arcade’s Gallery level was certainly unique. Cooking aromas would waft up from Kentucky Fried Chicken in the arcade’s basement, and float through the un-air-conditioned arcade to the gallery. Here, the flamboyant “Goldie” (John Goldsmith) sold bolts of vintage fabric from the 1920s to 1960s. Barbara Heath Jewellery was […]Read More!

Ahoy there, sailor!

One of the arcade’s original tenants, Brisbane Arcade Beach Salon was one of Queensland’s earliest beachwear retailers. Fitted out to look like a ship, the salon’s fitting room was a replica of a ship’s cabin. The Beach Salon was flexible, too, switching their product range from togs and towels in summer to a full display […]Read More!

From air raid shelter to art gallery

In 1952, the basement of Brisbane Arcade was transformed from WW2 air-raid shelter into a progressive gallery by art lovers and bons vivants, Brian and Marjorie Johnstone. The Johnstone Gallery was to become one of Australia’s leading galleries, and a focal point for Brisbane’s artistic and social world. With an inexpensive modern style (think potted […]Read More!

Reading tea leaves in the 1950s

During the early 1950s, my mother would take her three daughters into town. For the outing, she dressed immaculately, including hat and gloves. We would always visit Brisbane Arcade. Even as a child, I was impressed by its elegance, history, and special character. We would wander the boutique fashion shops on the ground floor, then […]Read More!

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