Since opening in 1924, Brisbane Arcade has been home to Queensland’s royalty of fashion and jewellery designers. Long before Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall was dotted with concept stores, multi-level shopping centres, superstores and the like, the city’s consummate consumers have flocked to Brisbane Arcade to enjoy couture fashion, jewellery, tailors and other shopping experiences.

Today, the iconic Brisbane Arcade is where visitors step into an Arcade steeped in history, memories and timeless elegance.

Brisbane Arcade remains a “must-see” shopping and historical destination for any visitors to Brisbane.

A grand heritage arcade ‘for the people’, Brisbane Arcade is arguably Brisbane’s most cherished shopping Arcade where nearly every visitor has their own special memories of visits to the Arcade over its many decades. Brisbane Arcade’s distinct old world yesteryear charm is enchanting.

Genuinely offering the best of what Brisbane has to offer when it comes to unique or locally made (in many cases made in Brisbane Arcade itself by owner artisans, designers and craftspeople), is where many of Brisbane’s most truly bespoke retailers and designers can be found. Behind beautiful shopfronts with glistening jewels, ticking watches and head-turning fashion, visitors can shop exquisite gift emporiums, dine at specialty high tea venues, or shop in shops simply not found anywhere else in Brisbane.

Almost a century old, Brisbane Arcade will celebrate 100 years in 2024.


Brisbane Arcade is owned and operated by The Mayne Estate philanthropic trust with operating proceeds benefiting the University of Queensland (UQ) Medical School and medical research.

Established in 1938, the Mayne Estate bequest to UQ remains one of Australia’s most significant philanthropic gifts. The bequest has seen Brisbane Arcade play an instrumental role in underpinning UQ’s world-class research outcomes across complex medical conditions such as cancer, skin and skin cancer, maternal and child health, chronic and critical illness, brain and mental health and health care delivery.

The bequest originated when the Arcade’s original owners, siblings, James and Mary Emelia Mayne wanted to create an ongoing legacy that gave back to the community.

James O’Neil Mayne, a prominent Brisbane surgeon had already been instrumental in donating the land at St Lucia upon which UQ’s main campus is located on. Two trusts, which still operate today as per the original bequest, were set-up to operate Brisbane Arcade.

So, when you shop at Brisbane Arcade, you are shopping with heart and helping to fund life-saving global medical research.

Brisbane Arcade in the Queen Street Mall is the Brisbane’s oldest and grandest shopping Arcade.


Built in 1923 with the first shops believed to have opened in 1924, Brisbane Arcade in the Queen Street Mall is the Brisbane’s oldest and grandest shopping Arcade.

Brisbane Arcade’s famous, checkered history revolves around the Mayne family and is built on the site of Patrick Mayne’s butcher shop. The Mayne family is well known as being one of Queensland’s biggest benefactors – a legacy which began with Patrick who allegedly deathbed confessed to murder and robbery.

Modelled on grand European arcades of the late 18th Century, James and Mary Emelia commissioned Queensland’s most celebrated architect, the Irish-born Richard Gailey Jr to design the magnificent Brisbane Arcade.

Brisbane Arcade’s architectural features include Edwardian Baroque style street façades, sleek and original terrazzo floors and stairs, majestic clerestory lighting, carved balustrades and dado panelling.

Built over three main shopping levels (basement, main street Arcade and gallery levels), fashion and jewellery designer workrooms and studios can be found on the Gallery and upper loft levels.

As a pedestrian thoroughfare, it connects two of Brisbane’s premier city streets – Queen Street Mall and Adelaide Street.

Brisbane Arcade was heritage listed in 1992.

Keep reading