Beyond Q cafe opening music to owners’ ears

Ian Bushnell 7 May 2020 16
Owners Simon Maddox and Jenni Lawton

Owners Simon Maddox and Jenni Lawton in the new downstairs cafe space. Photos: Michelle Kroll, Region Media.

It may have taken a year longer than expected but the Beyond Q bookshop in Weston has opened its new cafe and live music venue, ahead of the planned wine bar and speakeasy that is waiting on its liquor licence.

Owners Simon Maddox and Jenni Lawton have been putting the finishing touches to the quarter-of-a-million-dollar project, including an outdoor courtyard, and will officially open the space with a ceremony next Monday on a date they feel is memorable – the 11th of the 11th.

Originally downstairs at the Curtin shops, Beyond Q was forced to move when its lease was not renewed as part of the controversial redevelopment there, and the cafe opening has been a big relief for the couple.

“It’s a move we didn’t want to make but now that we’ve done it it’s really good,” says Simon, who conceived of the concept as a divorcee’s second date, somewhere to go for a quiet drink with music.

While the liquor licence application is still in train for the former upstairs cafe and collectables area, it and the new space is BYO.

Great coffee at Beyond Q

Great coffee, as ever, is part of the winning Beyond Q formula.

The new cafe has a full commercial kitchen, and a new menu for breakfast and lunch is being developed.

It holds about 150 and the many musicians Beyond Q has cultivated love the new stage.

One of Simon’s favourite new playthings is the iPad-controlled PA system, which enables him to quickly turn down the volume if it is too uncomfortable for some.

“The music can be too loud for some, but if they want a quiet room they can go upstairs or in the far corner,” Simon says.

Located in the Weston Arcade, the cafe now activates the rear section and provides a much more accessible venue, proving that if you build it they will come.

“It’s quite surprising how many people find us given we are at the back of a shopping arcade,” Simon says.

The new stage

The new live music venue can accommodate an audience of 150.

He and Jenny envisage the whole Beyond Q concept as a firm part of the community, hosting book launches, gigs and events, including a dementia cafe where music from a sufferer’s youth stirs memories.

“We don’t want to lose that atmosphere. It would be very easy to make it a burn and churn café,” Simon says. “Now that this has opened I think we’ll attract a lot more community interest.”

Eventually, a mezzanine floor will be installed above the stage to house an office but also to provide a place to hang a screen for classic movie nights.

As well as books of all kinds, Beyond Q also boasts a 1000-strong collection of classic vinyl records.

You get the impression that Simon and Jenny are never short of ideas, so it will be interesting to see how Beyond Q evolves, especially when the liquor licence comes through to give Weston a new Friday and Saturday nightspot.

Plenty for bookworms

Don’t forget the books, totalling around 180,000.

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16 Responses to Beyond Q cafe opening music to owners’ ears
HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 7:15 pm 30 May 20

Canberrans who are fond of civilised things like coffee and books will be saddened to learn that Beyond Q will soon be closing its doors for the last time –

Speaking of doors, the amazing Escher-esque door shown on their Facebook page has to be a candidate for the Canberra Museum and Gallery collection – as a reminder of things lost in the time of the virus.

Dorothy Simm Dorothy Simm 8:48 pm 14 Nov 19

Congratulations Jenni and Simon

Lindy Bryant Lindy Bryant 1:45 pm 11 Nov 19

Can’t wait to visit!!

Kimberley Paton Kimberley Paton 11:02 am 09 Nov 19

My son and I used to love spending time in there. Can't wait for the new Beyond Q to open.

Crenners Iv Crenners Iv 10:56 pm 08 Nov 19

Trish Van Dartel post workout try?

Sonia Burke Sonia Burke 5:58 pm 08 Nov 19

Great spot... Pls support this local businees

Karen AB Karen AB 7:29 pm 07 Nov 19

Ok books - but wine bar Tracey, Stephanie, Kazzys, Colleen 😃 Will start saving for Ubers for when I get back 😜 (I’m sure they’ll have something for you too Steph 👍🏻)

    Stephanie Crathern Stephanie Crathern 7:37 pm 07 Nov 19

    Karen AB thanks for thinking of us. How are you going?

    Karen AB Karen AB 10:54 pm 07 Nov 19

    Am going ok. Nice place to work! Slowly getting the hang of things and attempting to be organised 🤓 Hope all’s well there 😊

Kylie Beer Kylie Beer 6:23 pm 07 Nov 19

And we are go Emma Lang! Cannot wait for after work drinks once you can drink.

    Kylie Beer Kylie Beer 8:04 pm 07 Nov 19

    Emma Lang I’m so thirsty after today! You were the best thing that happened today, by farrrrrrrr! Josie is the most precious little doll. I hope it goes to plan tomoz.

Paula Ogilvie Paula Ogilvie 5:37 pm 07 Nov 19

Congratulations Jenni and Simon 💜 Paula Fry

Deanna Oram-Emms Deanna Oram-Emms 5:24 pm 07 Nov 19

Amy Lenihan Hannah Teo Erina Kathryn Tash Radulovich lots of music but don’t you dare talk!

Teang Pao Teang Pao 3:46 pm 07 Nov 19

Yeah Jenni Lawton and Simon. Many congrats!

Helena Reeves Helena Reeves 12:38 pm 07 Nov 19

Sassie Sara Jason Churches this is the bookshop we went to

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