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The Emporium Kalbar

Home > Brisbane > Shopping | Gifts | Day Trips | Antiques
by Lizzie Higgins (subscribe)
A freelance writer, living in Brisbane, sharing the places and things to do that I love in Brisbane and beyond
Published May 1st 2022
Step back in time
The small town of Kalbar near Boonah, is bustling, a return to its heyday of more than a century ago. The old Wiss Brothers Emporium is back in business thanks to the folks of Empire Revival in Paddington, Brisbane.

The Emporium Kalbar
The Emporium Kalbar

They have established this outpost of their curated multi-merchant business in the old Paddington theatre to sell "old, new and odd" wares.

The Emporium Kalbar
The Emporium Kalbar

The beautiful heritage building with its wide street windows and pressed metal ceilings is now chock-full with a range of antique and vintage delights including homewares, gardenware, clothing and jewellery from local, national and international artisans.

The Emporium Kalbar
The Emporium Kalbar

There's a cosy book nook complete with a love seat in the middle and a haberdashery section where you can grab a lucky dip of buttons from an old set of scales, $10 a scoop.

Buttons $10 a scoop
Buttons $10 a scoop

The Emporium first opened in 1910 stocking everything the locals needed. It's stood empty for a while in recent years, calling out for a new purpose.

The history of Wiss Bros Emporium
The history of Wiss Bros Emporium

There's apparently plans for a cafe out the back but Lovett's Cafe across the road can take care of you. They offer lunch and all-day breakfast options that hit the spot. For morning or afternoon tea, they have a range of cakes and the biggest brownies and slices you will ever see.

Lovett Cafe, Kalbar
Lovett Cafe, Kalbar

Kalbar is a great day trip from Brisbane, taking only about an hour. You can go a bit further to explore Boonah and indulge in the seasonal local fare on offer at Blume restaurant. Or close to Kalbar, visit the Scenic Rim Farm Shop & Cafe and graze on fresh farm produce under the towering Jacaranda trees.

Scenic Rim Farm Shop & Cafe
Scenic Rim Farm Shop & Cafe

Here you can also grab some veggies from the farm to take home and a bunch of freshly picked flowers from on-site Elderflower farm.

Elderflower Farm shop
Elderflower Farm shop

Why not stay the night and explore more of what the scenic rim has to offer? There is heritage accommodation right next door to The Emporium in Wiss Cottage, a gorgeous luxury option down the road at Herrmann House or take the caravan or your tent and stay at the campground next to the showgrounds.

Herrmann House, Kalbar
Herrmann House, Kalbar


Kalbar is calling. Visit the scenic rim website to make a plan and answer the call.
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Why? Step back in time
When: Friday 10am - 2pm Saturday 9am - 3pm Sunday 10am - 2pm Other times by appointment
Phone: 0405 156 760 and 0466 630 002
Where: 101 George St Kalbar, QLD, 4309
Cost: Free to browse
Your Comment
A very nostalgic location and building Lizzie, not to mention the goodies on sale.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4054) 25 days ago
Did you visit in time for the sunflowers, Lizzie?
by Elaine (score: 3|8840) 26 days ago
No, they were finished Elaine. They’re on my to list for next time though!
by Lizzie Higgins (score: 2|115) 26 days ago
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