Nambour's Queen Street retailers are Coast trend setters

ONCE a cramped alley way, Nambour's Queen Street has earned itself a reputation as one of the Sunshine Coast's trendiest streets.

The 120 metre strip celebrates its 60th birthday next year and has seen its fair share of ups and downs in that time according to shop owner Keith Lipke.

Keith has been running a barber shop at the top of the street since its humble beginnings in 1956 during the hustle and bustle of the sugar cane boom.

"It is getting a little bit like a hipper street, which is quite okay because it brings more people - there's a lot more foot traffic now than it ever had," he said.

"The new shops that have opened up in the last few years are very welcome.

"We've got a variety of types of business, Husk and Honey it's a very popular coffee shop and people are looking for something different."

And a quaint trendy street would be nothing without a Fitzroy-esque coffee shop.

Coffee addicts rate Husk and Honey 8.6/10 on website Beanhunter and next door neighbour Nerrollie Wilson from Madeline Rose Boutique said it's responsible for Queen Street's revitalisation.

"It's basically because of our coffee shop, it brings them in and while they're in enjoying good food and drinks they're discovering that the rest of the street has a lot to offer as well," she said.

"We have our little hanging pot plants and table and chairs.

"It's just a nice relaxed outdoor atmosphere and we're in touch with what's going on in the world, instead of being shoved away somewhere in a shopping centre."

Husk and Honey owner Johnny Collins has led an interesting life and that's reflected throughout his café and the entire street.

Johnny is a keen bass player who once travelled by bus from Cornwall with 22 other musicians to Transylvania to do relief work with Romanian orphans.

Johnny moved to Australia with his wife to grow organic vegetables, but couldn't resist the opportunity to buy Husk and Honey four years ago.

"We were done with hospitality, we just wanted to grow organic food," he said.

"We were supplying Husk and Honey with all their food and then the opportunity came up to buy it.

"Hospitality seduced us."

Johnny said creative types were responsible for bringing life back to Queen Street.

'When a place hits rock bottom, for some reason it almost becomes trendy," he said.

"I guess the rent's cheaper, so you get artists and musicians and all kinds of creative people move in, so they create a really cool space."

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