The Lanes are a popular and iconic shopping, entertainment and dining precinct in the Valley, so what do you do when you can no longer have visitors? You get creative.
 
On Winn Lane, Forge Forward was one of the first retail businesses to embrace virtual shopping experiences using interviews with makers and videos to showcase the artisan wares. You can also shop other Winn Lane retailers online such as Stardust Disco, Jess Blak, Uncommon Store and Tym Guitars, while Winn Lane’s Babushka Ballerina and Practice Studio and Phase 4 Record Store on Bakery Lane are open by appointment.
 
You can also buy online from California Lane retailers Alice Nightingale, Dunkle Authentic, Rebellious Grace and new homewares store Finnley Home (due to open 15 May). Wares from Bakery Lane business Empire Dolls are also available online.
 
Need a new ‘do? Barber services from Born Creative and Dreamboat, plus hair salons Fabrik Hair, Winnston Hair and Kiki Hair Brisbane are also open by appointment only. Or for brow know-how, contact Kiyomi at The Brow Bakery on California Lane for assistance on maintaining a manicured brow in lockdown.
 
While The Lanes restaurants and eateries have always offered takeaway options, Erene Apostolos from The Lanes Fortitude Valley says menus have now been adapted to focus solely on pickup and delivery, or venues have looked at new ways to feed their loyal clientele.
 
Order takeout and delivery from No. 5 Cafe and Ben’s Burgers on Winn Lane; Fat Dumpling and PJ Steaks on California Lane; and the brand-new Laruche Pizza as well as Nom Nom Korean on Bakery Lane. Reverends Fine Coffee & Bar, 7-Eleven and Cakes & Sh!t are open for takeaway only, while New York Slice Pizzeria has lockdown survival kits with five different types of frozen pizza (for anytime meal emergencies) or order hot and fresh for takeaway and delivery.
 
The Lanes is even keeping the party going with live-streaming DJ sessions from The Quivr, and The Zoo selling t-shirts and beer vouchers online for when they re-open.
 
These pivots from The Lanes businesses into expanded online services and new business ventures such as Laruche Pizza are likely to result in a more enhanced in-store experience when shops, eateries and salons are able to re-open fully again.
 
“People have continued to loyally support their favourite businesses and we have been overwhelmed by their support,” Erene says. “We really want to thank everyone for supporting local, independent small businesses.”
 
The Lanes regulars can also look forward to visiting some new businesses, such as Gung Ho Dumplings and Finnley Home, as well as some small design changes to current tenants. Meanwhile, The Lanes team will continue to closely follow government and health authority recommendations regarding updates to trading advice.
 
“We can’t wait until all our businesses are in full swing and we can offer all our festivals, events and markets for the public to enjoy our very special heritage-listed lanes again,” Erene says. “We’re looking forward to seeing the lanes full of people enjoying themselves and gathering together to enjoy all The Lanes Fortitude Valley has to offer.”

 
— May 2020