Mall’s well that ends well: Schrinner’s plan for Queen St includes death of two cafes

Brisbane City Council has unveiled new plans for Queen Steet Mall, including potentially removing two popular cafes, protecting the neighbouring Reddacliff Place and finally shading Victoria Bridge for pedestrians.

May 16, 2023, updated May 16, 2023
The Pig' N' Whistle cafe in Queen St Mall (Pic AAP)

The Pig' N' Whistle cafe in Queen St Mall (Pic AAP)

Its new South Bank Vision intends to declutter the mall by removing the Milano’s cafe near George St and investigate removing the Pig N’ Whistle near Edward St and replace it with shade, seating and activation opportunities.

The Pig N’ Whistle, owned by the Mantle Group, could potentially be replaced by a “licensed activation” centre, but the council said it was still deciding on the best approach at either end of the mall.

A shade structure would be built over the Victoria Bridge pathway and the privately-owned Reddacliff Place would be protected from development through council acquisition. It would be retained as public space for the popular open-air markets, events and arts. It is currently owned by Charter Hall.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the vision would complement council’s major upgrade of the Cultural Centre Bus Station which is being undertaking as part of the Brisbane Metro project.

“A large number of pedestrians, including both residents and visitors, already travel across Victoria Bridge each day,” Cr Schrinner said.

“This will increase significantly in the years to come under our plans to create thousands of new homes in South Brisbane’s Kurilpa precinct.

“Shading Victoria Bridge will significantly enhance walkability between South Brisbane and the CBD, particularly during the hotter months of the year.

“While Reddacliff Place is much-loved by residents and provides an incredible vista between the city and South Brisbane, it is currently privately owned,” he said.

“Our purchase of this site will preserve it as a public open space, ensuring the weekly markets continue and allowing us to activate it day and night.”

Deputy Mayor Krista Adams said both Milano’s and Pig ‘N’ Whistle will cease operating at the end of June.

“The Queen Street Mall recently marked its 40th anniversary yet remains one of the busiest malls in Australia with more than a million pedestrian movements a week,” she said.

“The number of people in the mall throughout the recent NRL Magic Round weekend once again demonstrated how important an asset it is for the city.

“The mall has always evolved with the times. That’s why it continues to be Queensland’s premier shopping precinct.”

“Removing potentially both venues at either end of the mall will allow us to incorporate more trees and seating, enhancing the mall’s sub-tropical feel.”

Ms Adams said Council is considering incorporating a licenced activation area in place of the current Pig ‘N’ Whistle.

“That will meaning new and exciting vendors and experiences in the mall regularly, such as a pop-up gin bar one week, a new tasting brewery the next or a fabulous array of food trucks.”

The Mantle Group has been asked for comment.

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