5 empty spaces that need to be loved in Gympie
1. Brodies (corner of the Bruce Hwy & Channon St)
Closed: Vacant since August 2015
IT was a sad day for roast-chicken-dinner-lovers when the Gympie Brodies store closed down just under two years ago.
Founded by Mark Brodie in 1987, the ever popular Brodies Gympie on the corner of the Bruce Hwy and Channon St was the start of a chain of 11 stores across Queensland.
But after a strong 28 years in business, it was forced to close its doors after running at a $5000 per week loss.
The building has sat empty and untouched since, except when it became the centre of a debate about the state of the Australian flag flying above it when residents described its tattiness as 'a disgrace' and it was removed.
The empty building across from KFC would be the perfect spot to once again join Gympie's fast-food trail. It's even still set up for drive-thru catering.
2. Freemasons Hotel (Channon St)
THE iconic Freemasons Hotel, on the corner of Duke and Channon Sts, has been sitting empty since it poured its last beer in 2013.
The hotel went out in a blaze of cheap alcohol when it emptied its accompanying bottles hop by way of gold coin donation before officially shutting shop and leaving a hole in Gympie's nightlife.
A significant part of Gympie's streetscape thought to be built in 1880, the hotel had a troubled year in 2010 when an associated company that employed its staff went into liquidation.
Although rumoured to be bought by another local hotel it does not look likely it will be resurrected any time soon, even though Gympie history buffs or those who don't mind a beverage and a bit of live music would love to see the well-established building operating again.
3. The Green Door Cafe (Tozer St/Station Rd)
THEY were known to serve the best burgers and malted milks around...it was the Green Door Cafe.
Built in 1951, the little cafe across from the Railway Hotel drew in buzzed up post-dancers and movie-goers as they rushed to the place to be seen in Gympie in the 50s and 60s.
Pies, chicken burgers and even the daring rum-flavoured milkshake were other specialities that drew in nearby workers for smoko.
Owned by the Sauer family along with the other buildings on Tozer St, David Lade, owner and operator of Sauer's produce said:
"In those days there wasn't any McDonald's or KFC. If you wanted something after the pictures, you came to the Green Door.
"I remember they used to have pie eating competitions there,” Mr Lade said.
The Green Door was also a favourite spot for students from Gympie High to head to after school for a can of Coke and a sausage roll.
It now sits as a ghost to the past and until recently had the same menu written in chalk from the early 90s when it shut down.
It is calling out for someone to breathe life into the historic eatery that holds many a memory for generations who dined there and soaked up the delicious atmosphere.
4. Empty TAFE building
AN UNUSED building at Gympie TAFE has been at the centre of controversy as Gympie cries out for it to be put to use by the University of the Sunshine Coast's Gympie campus.
It has sat empty for two years, while Member for Gympie Tony Perrett says Training Minister Yvette D'Ath has refused to make a decision about its use.
"It is just asking to use a locked up and empty building which sits across the car park at the Gympie Education Precinct,” Mr Perrett said.
"TAFE has said it doesn't even want the building.”
A plan for the building was due to be released in July last year, but students are still waiting, causing lost opportunities for lost opportunities for local students who are not able to attend university because of distance and financial factors, Mr Perrett said.
5. Winston House (Channon St)
IN November 2015 the Uniting Church Blue Care organisation announced the closure of Winston House aged care facility in Channon St.
It meant 53 residents of the facility had to find new homes and the space now sits vacant close to Gympie's new medical precinct further along Channon St.
The building was designed for low care needs and management said the building could not cater for the growing demand of higher level care.
The building is officially sold , but the buyer remains a mystery as is what will be done with the building.
Advocates in aged care would love to see it used for the same purpose so pressure is taken off waiting lists in the region.