Local faces share their love of brisbane in new business recovery campaign

24 MARCH 2022

The faces behind some of Brisbane's most iconic retail, tourism and hospitality businesses are behind an economic recovery campaign designed to attract people back to the city and boost local spending. 

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said while a full recovery will take some time, the ‘Love Brisbane’ campaign delivered by Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA), aims to reconnect people to the heart of the city and drive demand for businesses hit hard by the pandemic and recent floods. 
“While we’ve seen a 59 per cent increase in foot traffic in the Queen Street Mall over recent weeks, CBD businesses have struggled with numerous lockdowns and fluctuating customer numbers over the past two years, and now with recent flooding impacts, they need our support more than ever,” Cr Schrinner said.
“Many locals will recognise the friendly faces featured in the first phase of the campaign, from Warwick Vere at the helm of Brisbane’s iconic Rocking Horse Records to passionate calligrapher Barbara Nicol, owner of The Pen Shoppe in the Brisbane Arcade and Dan Gregory, General Manager and chief cocktail genius at The Gresham. 
“Collectively, the people behind these Brisbane businesses have more than 100 years of experience and represent the more than 400 city centre businesses ready to serve, entertain and welcome people back through their doors.” 
The Love Brisbane campaign will evolve to feature several hospitality businesses heavily impacted by the recent floods in and around the city, including Opa Bar and Massimo to rally local support as they begin to reopen. 
“It’s been an extremely difficult time for us with both Opa Bar and Massimo decimated by the floods, but the kindness and compassion we’ve received from our friends, staff and complete strangers, has reminded us why we love being in Brisbane,” said owner Michael Tassis.

“Providing great food and service is at the heart of all our restaurants, and we can’t wait to welcome customers back to enjoy it. In the meantime, our other restaurants and many others along Eagle Street, are open and ready to serve up stunning dishes with the best views over the Brisbane River.”

Cr Schrinner said there were a number of ways to support local businesses to aid their recovery. 

“We all have our favourite haunts in the city we love to visit, and there’s never been a better time to support local with recovery underway,” he said. 
“You can help by shopping at one of the city’s many great retailers, booking a meal at your favourite restaurant, planning a ‘staycation’ at one of the CBD’s fabulous hotels, or booking a ticket with a live venue, or tourism operator delivering a city-based experience. 
“We have a resilient CBD business community who have been through enough these past years so the message that Brisbane city is open for business needs to get out there.” 
The Love Brisbane campaign will run from today through to the end of April, explore at visitbrisbane.com.au.
Faces of the ‘Love Brisbane’ campaign: 

  • Tom Sancaeau, owner of popular CBD dining institutions, riverside Italian restaurant Coppa Spuntino recently closed due to flooding impacts and nearby Red Hook serving up street food inspired by New York City.
  • Warwick Vere, founder of Brisbane’s iconic Rocking Horse Records, which has been catering to the musical tastes of Queenslanders since 1975. 
  • Barbara Nicol, owner of The Pen Shoppe and The Model Shoppe in the Brisbane Arcade. With a long career in penmanship, she is one of Brisbane’s most established and passionate calligraphers, running The Pen Shoppe for over 41 years. 
  • Asuka Shiraishi, part of the Museum of Brisbane’s (MoB) Visitor Experience Team who leads tours for City Hall, Clock Tower, and exhibitions. 
  • Annabel Davis, Manager of the famous weekly Brisbane City Markets at Reddacliff Place. She loves promoting the farm-to-city ethos, getting to know the stories of the producers and the provenance of their wares. The market supports more than 72 local businesses and feeds thousands of city workers each Wednesday. 
  • Dan Gregory, General Manager of The Gresham and former 2017 ‘Bartender of the Year’ who moved to Brisbane from Tasmania to catapult his career. 
  • Anthony Platsis, Operations Manager for Tassis Group, covering popular Brisbane restaurants Opa Bar + Mezze, Massimo Restaurant + Bar, Fatcow Steak & Lobster, Rico Bar + Dining and George’s Paragon Brisbane.
Aerial view