Twenty twenty-one was one wild year, a year of new openings and a year of unpredictability – but most of all, a year that brought the James St community closer together. We are choosing to put the bad aside and selectively remember all the good that 2021 brought with it. Reminisce the year that was with us.
Our dining family welcomed five outstanding new venues – Biànca, Bar Tano, Essa, Gemelli and The Green – all took to life on James St like a duck to water and we cannot imagine life or a meal without them.
They were in good company, with gallery-like Astra Walker and actual gallery FINEPRINTCO opening simultaneously and national labels Husk and Nimble Activewear also joining the line-up. Overall, James St welcomed nine new residents, proving that even in strange times a strong community can flourish.
James St Series
Talking numbers, twelve James St Series events were hosted. These intimate happenings were our answer to the postponement of large events. The activations saw retailers and local creatives connect with our community in a unique way – diary recap:
- Hot’n’Heinous exhibition by Visaya Hoffie and Innerspace Contemporary Art
- Deviations installation by Callum McGrath and Outer Space at Living Edge
- Chronochromie installation by Ross Manning and Milani Gallery (still showing!)
- ART SERIES by ARTCLUB Shop
- Nina Karnikowski Writing Workshop at Silk Laundry
- Signature Wave Workshop at EdwardsAndCo
- Wreath Workshop by The Stone Willow Studio at Jardan
James St Things
- Festive Fringing interactive installation
James St Eats
- Taste of Deep Purple, a satellite edition of the annual Deep Purple Wine Club event by Craggy Range at Harveys.
- James St Christmas Lunch. James St’s hosted its first simultaneous multi-venue feast across 12 venues, and yes, a rad playlist by a special-guest mystery DJ was created (tune in here) and diners were treated to complimentary James St bucket hats – fun, chic and sun smart!
James St Up Late
Continuing the event chat, we hosted our first-ever winter James St Up Late event in June. It was a huge hit, with 1,000 black James St Party Bags (aka tote bags) filled with treats from the street gifted to attendees. We got in just in time before lockdown number three – we didn’t strike quite the same luck with James Street Food & Wine Trail…
James St Food & Wine Trail
Lockdown number four, less than 24-hours prior to the James St Food & Wine Trail (JSFWT) was set to take over two blocks of James St on 1 August, was the snap closure that saw JSFWT pivot to JSFWT ‘At Home’. Market Day feasts by James St’s finest restaurants became takeaway feasts with epicurean enthusiasts enjoying delectable dishes and cool concoctions until sold out. And sell out they did! It was a courageous team effort by all and in retrospect, a highlight of the year. Again, our community banded together and made great things happen.
James St A–Z
A documented highpoint was the James St A–Z Guide. Released in November, the fifth edition of the publication is an alphabetised compendium of local finds, little loves and long-living gems that lie within James St. Thoughtful essays penned by Brisbane connections – Cameron Bruhn, David Prior, Amy Hollingsworth, Thea Basiliou and Amanda James – acknowledge an observation, topic, or theme they’ve been mulling over this past year. Read more.
We rounded out the year with a little light-hearted Jimmy. Created to support retailers when communicating a difficult message – Jimmy is cheerful reminder that vaccination is mandatory when entering some businesses. Meet Jimmy and look out from him on retailer windows letting you know when you are entering a vax zone.
There were plenty more initiatives, interactions, laughter, tears and scenarios that made twenty twenty-one the year that was – an unforgettable year for many reasons – and we wish to thank you, our dedicated community for your continued support.
Here’s to twenty twenty-two and knowing that no matter what it brings, we as a community are strong, adaptable, and ready for it.
December 17, 2021