The eccentric charm of this record-store-turned-corner-cafe is helping restore Stones Corner to her former glory.
I've lived within walking distance of Stones Corner for almost 15 years now, and sadly, I've watched the area slowly deteriorate. Its historic shopfronts have long been boarded up, retailers continue to pack up shop, and employment offices now seem to outnumber the stores that once culminated a thriving shopping precinct. Even after all these years, I've continued to walk the almost empty main strip in the hope that someone will rescue this neat little pocket of Brisbane from oblivion.
Then a café named Lady Marmalade came along. Located in the old corner shop where Replay Records and CDs once kept me occupied on the weekends, Lady Marmalade is just the lodger Stones Corner has been lacking these past few years.
Bare brick walls, odd ornaments and table numbers represented by rubber fruits with faces only add to the charm of the café's interesting fit-out. And as if there isn't enough to take in while you're waiting for your meal, the tables are covered with a mixture of famous art and front-page clippings from half-century old Brisbane newspapers.
While the eccentric décor would undoubtedly be enough to draw in passers-by, the home-style menu and ever-changing cabinet of treats at the counter is surely enough to clinch the deal. My favourite, the haloumi sandwich – that's haloumi, roasted pumpkin, chilli and mint pesto, tomato and spinach on sourdough – is worth going back for again and again. Add a damn fine cup of coffee and some of the best baklava I've ever tasted and you've got something to tell your friends about.