I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
Published February 13th 2014
It's a jungle in there - in a good way
The Myer Centre has been a fixture of Brisbane public life since 1988. We shop there, we work there, and hundreds of us find our lunchtime takeaways there every weekday. The Myer Centre Food Court area unveiled a fresh, new look in November, tossing off the tired old fixtures for a summer outdoor picnic vibe mixed with some urban industrial chic. There are also some new eating outlets so if you haven't been for a while you should give it a try. I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised with the changes.
It seems to me that a lot of interior design in Australia in recent times is driven by the juggernaut known as The Block. Anyone who watched the last couple of seasons (personally, I only admit to watching the weekly room reveals) would be familiar with 'the look'; quirky, urban chic with funky industrial touches and a little bit of glitz and glamour. It's fun, functional and now turning up, not just in homes, but in retail spaces as well, and the Myer Centre has embraced its possibilities with their refurbishment.
The most striking features of the new food court are the two giant vertical gardens; huge, lush green walls (about 80 square metres each) that overlook the two main eating areas. What can I say? Just make sure once you've got your satay or sandwiches that you find a spot where you can fully appreciate all that gorgeous greenery. There's a large format digital screen above one of the green walls, which frankly I find a little intrusive, especially when it's a large format Gok hawking Target that was on screen the day I visited. I can live without advertising in my lunch hour.
In places the green walls are complemented by upmarket versions of picnic tables, which increases the outdoorsy feel. In other areas the industrial look takes over with timber-topped iron high tables and stools, and replica chairs inspired by the famous Tolix design created by Xavier Pauchard in the 1930s.
By now, you're probably wondering about the food; it is a food court after all. Old favourites like Oporto, Krispy Kreme and Gloria Jean's and Mrs Field's Cookies are still around, and have been joined by the likes of Happy Little Dumplings and Salsa's Fresh Mex Grill. I haven't told my husband yet but the sandwich outlet that specialised in roast meats doesn't seem to have made the cut in the refurbished venue. I'm not sure how he'll fare without the occasional roast pork and gravy sandwich. You can check out all the food court and takeaway traders on the Myer Centre website here.
My verdict? The new food options provide a wider choice and seem to be doing a rip-roaring trade. The refurbishment is fresh, and a pleasant change from the previous decor. I think the overall effect is very good and I applaud anything that makes some attempt to bring the outside in, especially in the middle of the city. If I were to be really picky (and I often am) I'd say that there's just a little too much going on design-wise for my taste. It will be interesting to see what's in store for city lunchtime eaters when the remodelled Broadway on the Mall opens for business later this year. Watch this space.