Brisbane’s laneway scene has grown to house an abundance of hidden treasures located off our main thoroughfares, and it’s thanks to the Apostolos family that Fortitude Valley’s laneways Winn Lane and Bakery lane have seen new life in recent years. For the past few months, The Lanes group has been working on a third laneway nestled behind the corner of McLachlan and Brunswick Streets called California Lane. The new laneway opened to the public this week, showing off the first stage of completed work and offering a tantalising glimpse of the end result.
Designed to both complement, and differ from, its sibling laneways, California Lane looks to bring its own personality to the entertainment precinct while still offering multi-faceted array of tenants. The urban space takes its inspiration from California Cafe, one of Fortitude Valley’s original eateries that occupied a space on the corner of Brunswick and McLachlan Streets from the 1950s until the 1990s. In contrast to Winn Lane’s grungy vibe and Bakery Lane’s airy open-plan nature, California Lane’s design boasts a colourful and retro aesthetic, throwing back to the days of neon-illuminated, pastel-coloured vibes of California’s golden years. Palms, flamingos, teals and pinks spruce up the laneway, which features a new alfresco dining space for long-time tenants of the Brunswick Street strip, including Reverends Fine Coffee and Bar, Giardinetto, Crown & Co, and LTD Espresso & Brew Bar. Studios and retail tenancies are situated opposite the Brunswick Street tenants, which will soon harbour creative and inventive arrivals.
In addition to new al fresco dining element, California Lane is also set to house a few new faces. At California Lane’s McLachlan Street entry will sit juice, dessert and cocktail bar The Stand, which will be neighbour a boutique outlet from Alice Nightingale and hairdresser Not Another Salon by hair artist Evie York. Soon, Crown & Co will soon be unveiling King Tiki – a tiki bar and barbershop hybrid – while two of California Lane’s second level tenancies will house LJC Designs and creative agency Dot Design. More tenants will be announced in the coming weeks and months, with a good portion of arrivals looking to be open in time for The Hidden Lanes Festival, taking place across California Lane, Winn Lane and Bakery Lane on Saturday October 13.