The Queen Liz precinct
This charming street in the inner west suburb or Croydon has been popular for some time but with more businesses moving in it is becoming a mecca for vintage shopping and gourmet eats.
With affordable housing prices plus three means of public transport – trains, trams and buses – it’s not surprising that many young professionals are moving in and hip young things are making the trip west to lunch and shop.
The charm of the Queen Street/Elizabeth Street strip is immediately obvious as you are greeted with murals adorning the train station, painted stobie poles and mosaic pot plants decorating the footpath. Owner of Vintage homewares and furniture store One Small Room (OSR), Timothy Cichero describes this unique charm: “There is something special about the area, the old villas, the empty shops full of character and the positively old school sound of the railway bells.”
Cichero and his wife Rebekah were attracted to the street because they felt it could develop into a high street like those in London. Cichero explains: “We had seen how successful suburban high streets can be from our time living in London. The ingredients were there to create a high street that people like us wanted to go to.”
With a variety of places to eat and shop it’s well worth the trip. Whether you’re after one of the best breakfasts in town at Queen Street Café or a vegetarian feed at Let Them Eat there is something for everyone. Interestingly the Queen Street Café and most of the businesses are actually on the Elizabeth Street part of the strip – Queen Street only makes up a small part of the street between Port Road and the train tracks and then it turns into Elizabeth Street.
With the rise in popularity of artisan bakeries, Red Door Bakery has developed an almost cult like following since it opened on Elizabeth Street (aka Queen Street) in 2010 and another branch has just opened on King William Road, Goodwood with plans to expand further – one more in the eastern suburbs. Owner of Red Door Bakery Emma Grierson (she owns it with her husband Gareth) believes this popularity is because “people are so time poor that they have stopped making bread and baked goods at home and these are the things that our generation remember from our childhood, we know flavour and when you discover that again it takes you back”.
The strong sense of community is continuing to attract businesses to the area and makes the street special. Grierson believes the street is unique because of “the community, from the volunteers that do the mosaics to the local kids that scoot up and down the street and to the care the shop owners put into their stores, it’s the vibe of the street that resonates”. Being a local resident Grierson saw a gap in the market so decided to open the bakery. “Queen Street already had a food culture in place, as well as a destination strip with great alternative shops. Its strong art and community feel were very appealing and being locals, a great bakery was needed,” she says.
Cichero shares this sentiment, he says: “With such a strong sense of community, not just amongst the shop owners but among the residents we hope that the strip will continue to be a meeting point for locals.” You get the sense that while Cichero and Grierson both love the growing popularity of the street they also like the idea that they are a little off the beaten track. Grierson: “We love that it is a hidden gem in Adelaide, it has such a great character, the old shops, the houses and the businesses are all independently owned and unique.”
In the short space of time that Red Door has been operating Grierson has seen the street evolve. She explains: “The street has certainly become busier, with the weekday trade picking up as local offices pop in for lunch. We see a lot of people on the weekend as Queen Street seems to be infectiously relaxing and happy.”
OSR has been operating for about nine years and in that time both the street and OSR have evolved. “People and businesses have come and gone, but a core group of people have stayed,” Cichero explains. “The arrival of a café provided that extra attraction to making the trip to the suburbs, the combination of food and shopping simply works. We expanded our ‘one small room’ to a collection of three small spaces, yet kept the name.”
As the street expands and its popularity grows, Cichero hopes the street will continue to exude the community feel. “Whilst I am sure that there will be some change, we hope that the street continues to be a beacon to Adelaide people where they can come and stroll amongst the shops and have a bite to eat and return home with something special.”
Queen Street Café
12 Elizabeth Street
Owners Ben and Dominika Johnston established Queen Street Café in 2004 on the back of the success of the original Duthy Street Deli – they also own Bistro Dom. With rustic tables and a relaxed atmosphere the cafe has been dishing out delicious food since the doors opened.
The Croydon Store
15a Elizabeth Street
It’s a sophisticated version of your local deli specialising in breakfast and lunch (they call themselves a breakfast and brunch bar). This family run business also does outside catering.
Let them Eat
16 Elizabeth Street
Delicious vegetarian food, which supports local produce, they also cater for events off site. The food is interesting and innovative and makes vegetarian hip again.
Queen Street Grocer
20 Elizabeth Street
Like the Queen Street Café the grocer, which opened in 2011, is also on Elizabeth Street. This cute little corner store stocks staples as well as more luxury items. The emphasis is on organic and local produce.
Red Door Bakery
22 Elizabeth Street
Artisan bakeries are so hip right now. If you have ever been to Sydney and seen the queues at the Bourke Street Bakery in Surry Hills you will know what I mean and now Adelaide has its own version. Try the pork and sage sausage roll; it’s to die for.
2 Elizabeth Street
This is the newest kid on the block opening in June this year. Owner Joe Tanham has been restoring industrial furniture for 10 years and this is his first foray into the retail scene.
Hype and Seek
3 Elizabeth Street
Hype and Seek have been selling vintage, mid-century, industrial and space age furniture and vintage fashion and accessories here since 2001. Plus they offer styling and a hire service.
5 Elizabeth Street
Opened in 2008 the boutique stocks amazing vintage finds alongside contemporary labels like Finders Keepers. There is also an in-house jewellery line by owner Azadeh Afzal.
One Small Room
6-10 Elizabeth Street
Opening in 2003 as One Small Room it now fills three rooms of incredible pieces of vintage plus mid-century and modern pieces.
Queen Street Pilates Studio
7/9 Queen Street
This leading Pilates studio offers classes in mat and equipment work. There is also a physiotherapist and massage therapist on site.
Curious Orange Haircutters
4 Elizabeth Street
With funky decor this haircutters covers all your standard hair needs.
16 Euston Street (corner Queen Street)
Treat yourself to a new look at one of Adelaide’s best hairdressers. The salon opened in 2003 and has a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere.