Vision for Top of Town area to be like West End

THE TOP of Town in Ipswich has the potential to become the West End of Brisbane.

That is the word from local business owners and Cr Andrew Antoniolli, who see a vast potential for a precinct that already has quality cafes, restaurants and bars.

Urban Pantry co-owner Lisa Tatton said the Top of Town area "definitely has the potential" to be like West End.

"It would be fantastic if it did," she said.

"We are getting a lot busier and our little café often gets people saying if this was in West End, you'd be going off.

"But there needs to be a lot more retail at the Top of Town, just better shops to draw people in."

Urban Pantry has strong reviews on Urban Spoon website with one diner saying: Poached eggs and haloumi are fantastic. If they were in West End you'd have to queue to get in.

Venues such as Cactus Espresso Bar, Laneway 17, Fourth Child Café and Restaurant, Viva Italia and Deann's Coffee House give the area its vibe.

Ms Tatton said Ipswich City Council could also play a part in taking the precinct to the next level. "It would be great if we could have some street scaping," she said. "I don't think any work has been done at the Top of Town for a long time. It needs the council to give it some love."

Cr Andrew Antoniolli said Top of Town was the most intact 1910 to 1920 main street in Queensland.

"I will be continuing to push for new street scaping to develop that type of entertainment and eating precinct and bring it into the future," he said. "From the start of Ellenborough St to Waghorn St all the pieces are slowly coming into place," he said.

"I see that area as our entertainment precinct with eating, dining and boutique shopping."

Prince of Wales Hotel publican Darren Riley said "the introduction of Safe City cameras and the council's program of urban renewal seems to be working, and now it is time to go the next step".

"This can be like the West End of Brisbane and it is slowly starting to happen. There are nice cafes that do unique food and they have a bohemian sort of feel," he said.

"The people of Ipswich just need to come out and support the restaurants, cafes and venues like Studio 188."

Ms Tatton said the precinct needed more of a buzz later in the day. "A lot of people I meet who have moved to Ipswich are young couples with young children," she said. "They have moved from places like West End, and I think that is why the coffee scene is OK because it is that demographic that is moving from the city.

"But we close at 2.30pm because the streets are dead after that.

"A little quirky bar or boutique brewery would be awesome."