New business to open on top floor of Stewarts in East Street
The top floor at Stewarts department store was well known among locals for its cafe and high teas from years ago.
Now, after sitting vacant for years, a new business will take up residency in the space.
Rocking Horse Antiques will relocate into the top floor, moving from its Tanby Road store at Yeppoon.
With the top floor around 1,000 sqm, it's at least four times the size of the former store.
The huge floor space means it might be one of Queensland's biggest antique stores.
Business owner Gavin Daniels and store manager Patsy Geddes said the new location would allow them to have a lot more furniture and special items.
The high ceilings will also allow them to have very tall pieces of furniture.
The store has sold a range of quality antique items from early pieces to Spanish dining sets, Georgian furniture and more.
The opening date is yet to be confirmed however there has been delays with the renovations.
An new air conditioner was being put in and the wet weather caused some hold ups.
It was hoped they would be open for Beef 2021 however it is now expected to be June.
Stewarts was established in 1862 by James Stewart and first opened on the corner of Denham and Bolsover Streets before it moved to its current position in 1864.
It was the first specialist drapery store in town and during the decades of the 19th century, manufactured a range of dresses, millinery, shirts, furniture and bedding.
There were also branch stores in Mount Morgan, Blackall, Barcaldine and Longreach.
In the 1920s there were 300 people employed at the Rockhampton headquarters.
It was managed by generations of the Macfarlane family and was bought by the Woods family in the 90s.
The top floor was most recently leased by Delizies that had a cafe from 2006 to 2010 before moving to Pilbeam Theatre until its closure in 2018.