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'Excitement is building': revamped entertainment venue on track to open

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Stage 1 of the highly anticipated family entertainment precinct The Station (formerly NightQuarter) at Birtinya is set to open on March 1, following significant upgrades undertaken by the site’s new owners.

Husband-and-wife team Chris and Lauren Hignett said the operational and construction upgrades were tracking well and the response from the local business community and residents had exceeded their expectations.

The addition of an outdoor skatepark is part of the Stage 1 upgrade of the former NightQuarter site, now The Station.

Mr Hignett said he and Lauren had been buoyed by the feedback from local businesses which had a strong desire to see the entertainment precinct up and running again.

“The excitement is certainly building and it’s not just the nearby Stockland centre venues who are set to see an increase in foot traffic – there’s no doubt that businesses and suppliers across the region will also benefit from what we are creating,” he said.

“Local residents and tourists also have a strong affinity with the precinct. So many people have told us about their great memories of the former venue.

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“So, we have a strong obligation to ensure we create a world-class, multi-purpose, family-friendly entertainment precinct suitable for people of all ages and abilities.

“Our goal is to be successful from day one and we are confident that our business model will help us achieve sustained success.

Related story: Future of former NightQuarter site revealed

“This includes operating six days a week with regular entertainers and performers, along with a rotating roster of food trucks to ensure we have a constantly diverse food offer.

“We will also have hundreds of children and families visiting Alley-Oops State Park and our Scooter and Skate store every week so there’s plenty of foot traffic and activations taking place.”

Live music fans of all ages enjoyed NightQuarter Birtinya. Picture: Shirley Sinclair.

The 6400sqm site – fitted out with shipping containers for food, bar sales and retail vendors – has lain dormant since the closure of NightQuarter in 2022.

NightQuarter found a new home on the Sunshine Coast, opening its doors on November 6, 2020, as a family-friendly marketplace offering street food, market stalls and live entertainment, while also nurturing new local artists, performers and musicians. It had previously operated at Helensvale on the Gold Coast from 2015-2019.

But compounding issues, including the effects of the pandemic, led to financial problems, sending Food Focus Australia Pty Ltd – the company behind neighbouring Malt Shovel Taphouse and NightQuarter – into liquidation.

The new owners hope the distinctive fit-out and convenient location that patrons had grown to love will encourage them back and attract new visitors to enjoy the music, food and beverage offerings, festivals and functions/corporate events.

The Station is adjacent to the newly proposed mass transit system connecting the area to residents in Maroochydore and south to Caloundra.

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The Station is bringing the Birtinya site back to life.

Mrs Hignett said the relocation of both their businesses – Scooter and Skate: a brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce sports store, as well as the Alley-Oops Indoor Skatepark – would be key milestones for the Stage 1 opening.

“The retail shop will be completed and the skate park will be outdoors for the first stage before it is undercover for our second-stage release in August this year,” she said.

“The refurbishment of the food truck precinct and bar area is also on track, along with the major concert venue.

“We are in conversation with a number of exciting local and national entertainers and performers and our patrons can expect to see some incredible acts every time they visit The Station.

“We will be open from Tuesday to Sunday each week and we’ll have up to 100 people working on site, including up to 50 of our own casual and around 14 full-time staff when fully operational.”

Expressions of interest are open to those seeking employment, as well as musicians, artists and local food and beverage providers.

To find out more and to register your interest in employment or vendor opportunities, visit thestationsc.com.au.

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