CBD Spotlight: Abikhair Building

Steeped in history, the Abikhair Building is one of Albury’s original retail hubs. Opened in 1928 by Saad Abikhair, the Abikhair Emporium supplied locals with everything from stockings and sewing supplies to household and sporting goods and much more.
While the Emporium closed in the 1990s, the building has transformed into an eclectic retail and dining destination that celebrates the building’s history and grandeur. Get to know the current businesses that call the Abikhair Building home.

The Real Florist

The Real Florist moved into the Abikhair building in 2021, taking over what used to be Jones the Grocer. “I loved this store when it was Jones the Grocer,” said Real Florist owner Renee Williams. “I loved the atmosphere, I loved coming in here, with the welcoming feeling you come in for a coffee.”

The idea to turn the location into a florist cafe was born, first as a three-month pop-up shop. Opening the pop-up shop with a friend, The Real Florist is thriving years later with a busy cafe stocking locally-made produce and retail items, a workshop and teaching space, and of course the floristry side of the business.

Everything about The Real Florist is built on community and locals supporting locals. The Real Florist Wines are made by Cofield Wines, and The Real Florist candles are made by the Nostalgic Wick, it’s a beautiful place where everything comes together.

Address: 489 Swift St
Website: therealflorist.com.au
Facebook: The Real Florist
Instagram: @therealfloristalbury

The Real Florist is an AlburyCBD Gift Card participating business.

Swift Studio

Torre DeRoche and Bec Haycraft are the creative minds behind Swift Studio, a  collective bringing together three separate brands to help other businesses tell their stories through thoughtful design and photography.

Torre is a highly-skilled marketer and writer and is passionate about telling written and visual stories.

Bec is a photographer with a focus on telling the stories of rural Australia through commercial and family photography.

Swift Studio is open by appointment only and will be used as a space to network, connect and create – stay tuned!

Address: 493 Swift St
Email: hello@swiftstudio.au

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Stone Age Records

Opening on Boxing Day 2023, Stone Age Records is a unique addition to the Abikhair building. What started as a way for owner Ian to share his collections and love of music is now a hub of pop culture finds. Ian has a background in retail so opening the record store was a natural next step after leaving his previous job.

“I’ve always loved this building,” Ian said. “It has a lot of retail history, and I jumped at when this store became available.”

You’ll find a lot of rock, soul and blues, new stock is arriving all the time, including more popular collections and new releases, plus comics, posters and all sorts of collectibles.

Address: 495A Swift St
Instagram: @stone_age_records_au

The Beauty Mark

The Abikhair Building provides a central, yet quiet and relaxing location for special occasion makeup, makeup lessons, a hen party or just a way to treat yourself at The Beauty Mark.

The Beauty Mark offers hair styling, eyelash extensions, special occasion makeup and an exclusive retail makeup selection, making it a go-to location for all your makeup and beauty needs.

Owner Bree loves the heritage feel of the building, the big bright windows and how easy it is for customers to pop in for their appointment or to pick up a retail item.

Address: 497 Swift St
Instagram: @thebeautymark.official

The Beauty Mark is an AlburyCBD Gift Card participating business.

Clean Energy Solutions

Clean Energy Solutions is a family-run business run by husband and wife team Bree and Daniel Grubisa. Both Bree and Daniel are passionate about customer service and sustainable living.

They moved into the Abikhair Building in late 2023, drawn to the prominent location, large windows and easy access to Dean St and parking options. Focusing on residential and commercial solar installations, the Clean Energy Solutions team can design a custom solar system to meet your needs.

“Power prices are ridiculous. People used to walk in a say ‘Is this going to save me money?’ and now they know it will.” Bree said.

Address: 560 Olive St
Website: cesolutions.com.au
Instagram: @cesolutions1

The Lane Cellars

Opening in Albury in 2021, the Lane Cellars is an independently owned bottle shop that specialises in local and regional Australian premium wine, and craft beers. Owner David Cumming has been in the wine business for as long as he can remember and is proud to have one of the best ranges of local wines in the region.

“Buying local is becoming a real mantra for the community, and we are more than happy to support and encourage this. We also like to think we offer excellent customer service, with advice on wines and beers.

“Our beer range is ever changing which our beer customers really enjoy, We pride ourselves on this ability, as a small independent, to get hold of limited release and seasonal beers that the big box bottle shops can’t do.

“The building. It’s a fantastic, historical building. with polished timber floors and stained glass windows. It has a real sense of retail history to it.
We love that we are close to the CBD, whilst being a bit more relaxed, with a corner of Albury that is starting to hit its straps.

We love that the likes of Stone Age Records have moved in, and that The Real Florist is here, and now that Sam’s Cafe has outside seating, it’s all bringing a great vibe to the Abikhair corner,” David said.

Stop by on a Friday afternoon for a Meet You Maker tasting session or grab something for the weekend from the large range of beer, wine and spirits on offer.

Address: 558 Olive St
Instagram: @thelanecellars
Website: thelanecellars.com

The Lane Cellars is an AlburyCBD Gift Card participating business.

Sam’s Family Cafe

A family-friendly atmosphere and good, simple food is what Sam’s Family Cafe is all about. Opening in April 2023, the cafe has grown to become a welcoming place to sit with your laptop or bring the kids for lunch.

“I love the features of the building. It’s an old building with the beautiful leadlight windows and it’s central without being smack bang on Dean St, and the size!” said Sam.

“We’ve added the wall menus and done a lot of work on the menu to offer the things everyone likes.”

Importantly, it’s a safe space for young people to gain some work experience and build their confidence.

Address: 556 Olive St
Phone: 02 6041 0770
Facebook: Sam’s Family Cafe
Instagram: @samsfamilycafe

Sam’s Family Cafe is an AlburyCBD Gift Card participating business.

Perls Mens and Ladieswear

With over 100 years of trading history on Olive St, Perl’s current location in the Abikhair Building is a fitting place to continue the legacy that began in the early 1900s. Originally located a 512 Olive St, current owner Judy Hayhoe moved the business to its current location in 2012.

Perls is very much a family business for Judy, whose father began working for the business as a boy in 1947, before purchasing the business with his wife Margaret in 1974.

The styles may have changed over the years, but what hasn’t waivered is the Hayhoe family’s commitment to exceptional customer service and helping people look and feel their best, even if it does mean sometimes pushing people out of their comfort zone in a helpful and compassionate manner.

Address: 554 Olive St
Phone: 02 6021 3226
Facebook: Perls mens and ladieswear

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This article was originally published on 28 February 2024, and updated on 4 March 2024.