Hidden Gems of the CBD

exploring the nooks and crannies of our city

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we live in a city full of laneways, industrial buildings and original architecture. lucky us!

It’s the perfect city centre to explore on foot; you’ll find all sorts of surprises! From restaurants to niche boutiques to pilates studios to art collections, we’ve rounded up a few hidden gems you won’t find on the main strip. They might not all be secrets, but we bet you’ll find at least something new on this list.

 
 

 
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pure pilates & fitness

Nestled high above the Russell and Ruthven Streets intersection is this beautiful pilates and barre studio. Offering a range of classes, Pure Pilates is led by experienced instructors who somehow don’t get distracted by the beautiful, original floor-to-ceiling windows. See the city a little differently as you chisel those abs.

Where? 353 Ruthven Street, City (above the old Mingle Café; enter via Russell Street)

the bolton reading room

Hidden upstairs at the Regional Art Gallery is the Bolton Reading Room, home to the Lionel Lindsay collection. As well as 400 pieces of art, the collection of rare print material (including books, manuscripts and maps) is of national importance. It holds records of voyages of discovery in the Pacific, the exploration and early history of Australia, and Australian art, literature and natural history.

The Reading Room feels like something out of Downton Abbey-meets-Harry Potter, and is open (for free) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11am - 3pm and on Sundays from 1pm - 4pm.

Where? Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery on Ruthven Street

kajoku

Offering authentic Japanese and Korean dishes, Kajoku sits near Bar Wunder, but up a few stairs. Fully licensed, the restaurant offers bibimbap, dumplings, soju, shochu and nihonshu, as well as the famous Korean tabletop BBQ, where you cook your own meat. It’s all very hands-on and fun, and a great meal out for a group. Regulars will be aware of the private karaoke rooms for better or for worse…

On weekends, make a booking. Kajoku may be hidden, but it’s not a secret!

Where? 430 Ruthven Street (near Smoke + Mirrors)

luxe bridal lounge

Seriously, if this business was a cafe, we’d be there every day. This luxurious, romantic and calming boutique sprung up out of an unassuming loft space on Ruthven Street. Drowning in natural light, the boutique is open by appointment only and features a stunning curation of gowns by designers such as Calla Blanche, Lamour and Angela & Alison.

Where? 353 Ruthven Street, City (above the old Mingle Café; enter via Russell Street)

battlestation

OK, this is definitely a niche! Battlestation, across from Bar Wunder, is for — and we say this with love — total nerds. Filling the needs of Toowoomba’s tabletop wargaming and card gaming fans, Battlestation sells Games Workshop, Privateer Press, Magic the Gathering and Cardfight Vanguard.

They also host regular games nights, whether its Dungeons & Dragons, Magic or just boardgames everyone knows and loves.

Where? 411 Ruthven Street (opposite Bar Wunder)

collectables

This secondhand store run by Yellowbridge is a TFG favourite. The well curated stock is always extremely affordable and in good condition, whether it’s a punch bowl set, leather suitcases, wool coats or tea cups. It is always worth a browse for any fellow vintage lovers. We’ve found leather bags, cocktail sets and all of the CreativeMornings mugs here for less than a tenner.

Where? 2a Station Street (opposite Emerge Cafe, which you should pop into afterwards)

belle fleur

This cosy little store in a hidden laneway feels like an art gallery gift shop in all the best ways. In fact, you’ll find many of the brands you’ll find at the V&A or National Museum of Australia shops – Liberty, William Morris, Wavertree & London. Filled with tea towels, soaps, tableware and gardening goods, it’s all very English with pops of French Provincial. Look out for the flags out the front.

Where? 21 Bowen Street (near York Realty on Ruthven Street)

Have we missed your favourite? Let us know!

 

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