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What’s to become of the Lonsdale Street Traders?

By Samara Gentle - 10 September 2014 5

We knew it wasn’t permanent, while Canberrans have come to love the Lonsdale Street Traders, we’ve known all to well it was just temporary and it seems the end is nigh.

Lonsdale Street Traders helped give Braddon a new edge, it showcased locally made, vintage and specialty imports. It was the place to find a unique gift, meet for a coffee over a vegan muffin, discover local designers and rediscover vintage threads.

The rawness of the space helped it become something special and different, the turn over of new popups guaranteed with all most every visit there would be a new shop to explore.

What’s even better is it’s given some retailers an opportunity to get on their feet before seeking out more long term digs to help share their beautiful products with us, a rare thing that not a lot of small business owners get to do.

The Traders was also the birth of pop-up in Canberra, sure some of the big shopping centers would allow the occasional pop-up, but this was where the heart was. It was home to a turn over of pop-up shops and pop-up events making it feel like the cool underbelly of creativity that Canberra was craving.

While the popularity of places like the Traders has created a bit of a parking nightmare (read Alexandra Craigs article on Parking in Braddon), the pros definitely out weigh the cons when small businesses can trial shop fronts without locking into 12-month leases.

So what’s to become of some of our new favourite retailers?

My personal favourites in the Traders is Moxom + Whitney, Trove, Box and Elseware.

We want to hit up the RiotAct readers and find out which is your favourite shop.

If you have any insider information as to where the retailers are moving to once the Traders becomes an apartment complex let us know in the comments!

What’s Your opinion?


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5 Responses to
What’s to become of the Lonsdale Street Traders?
dkNigs 7:38 pm 10 Sep 14

That new Ori building next to Mode 3 should be opening up to retail about the same time they close off the traders, theoretically if they can afford it there should be space to move there.

Also I don’t know if the owner is trying to charge too much, but that vacant spot that used to be the computer and second hand store near civic pub is still empty and could easily fit several businesses from the traders.

bringontheevidence 2:05 pm 10 Sep 14

Not to worry. The Canberra Times has (many times) reported that most of the businesses in LST will move across the road to the new Ori Apartments (being built by the same owner) when they are complete.

Not sure if that means it will keep the same name, but if it works why change it? The developer knows that LST brings people into the area and increases the demand for apartments so there is a strong incentive to keep it.

watto23 12:29 pm 10 Sep 14

Its not for me, but I recognise that it added something to the city so it is worth keeping that kind of retail area. Just like people seem to have different tastes in Cafes around town ie I’m not going to a Cafe Cherry beans anytime soon, but prefer the ambience of the Espresso Room, Ona @ fyshwick or similar.

Holden Caulfield 10:57 am 10 Sep 14

I still think the pre-hipster Hive is the best gift store on Lonsdale Street, and perhaps in Canberra.

LST is nice and all, but a bit like Floriade for me, it gets nowhere near matching the hype it has created for itself. I can only be left thinking, is that all there is?!

That said I am pleased so many people seem to have enjoyed the concept even if I’m a bit too cynical about it, haha. The world would be a pretty boring place if we all liked the same things.

If nothing else LST has been a great repurposing of what would have otherwise been a derelict space. And that sort of thinking in Canberra is very welcome!

Alexandra Craig 10:19 am 10 Sep 14

All I know is that Sweet Bones is moving down the road, just near the new eighty/twenty cafe. I really hope Moxom + Whitney stay in the area – they have the most beautiful arrangements. I also really like that store… no idea what it’s called – the one right at the front that sells all the quirky gadgets and stuff that some people might classify as clutter or junk. I bought my cat a pink cadillac there once.

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