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14.05.23

We're Up There – A Farewell to McKillop Street

Given the amount of construction on McKillop St the past few years, it's almost odd to see the laneway clear!
2017 – Incredible how much we fit into the small space!
2017 – A classic Up There view from Level 1
2017 – Made in USA & UK New Balance plus a Samba in the corner. Is this 2023?
2017 – The year we also introduced Lower Grounds for a more sneaker-centric experience
2017 – A bit hazardous for tall people but we made it work!
2018 – Packed to the rafters!
2018 – You never got sick of that incredible natural light
2019 – Our biggest re-fit to date, we moved into the almost-ground-level space
2019 – A fresh look with plenty of greenery
2019 – Ready for a new era, but 2019 had it's own ideas...
2021 – Our final iteration of McKillop St, this was as refined as we could get our original home

What can you achieve in thirteen years? For one, it's enough time to go from pre-school to graduating high-school. It takes roughly as long to train to be a surgeon. For us, it's how long it took us to get to this very sentence you’re reading now.

After growing up in sunny Queensland — cutting our teeth in the sneaker and streetwear scene — we decided to do something a little bit crazy. Just three young guys with a dream, in 2010 we moved our lives to Victoria and set about establishing a store of our own. Our idea was driven by excitement for emerging menswear brands informed by streetwear which went further than graphics tees and baseball caps. We knew what brands we wanted and we knew we wanted to call it Up There. Where were we going to put our shop though?

We knew it had to be central enough that it was accessible but tucked-away so it could act as a haven from the hustle and bustle. As anyone with commercial real estate experience would know that finding a remotely affordable space in a major city is almost impossible if you're doing it on your own. Regardless, we didn't have a choice. This was happening, so we had to find home base. After plenty of stress and anxiety, we finally found a charming little spot tucked away upstairs from a bookshop on McKillop Street. Although we never planned it that way, “Up There” was going to be up there.

The spot needed a bit of work — which is to say it needed a lot of work — but we took what we could. After putting in plenty of hours to bring it it up to scratch, on September 30, 2010 we were finally ready  launching Up There on Level 1 at 15 McKillop Street.

Over the years, we did a lot of things. We hosted events, launched brands, collaborated, got an upstairs neighbour in the form of Saint Side  all the while McKillop St remained a reliable locale which we kept refining. It was small but we managed to find a way to make it work.

When the sneaker boom really kicked off we opened a space in the basement of McKillop St — maybe you remember it — and for a while that helped to release some of the pressure as our business grew. Eventually though, as our bookshop neighbours left and the crew at Saint Side decided to move-on, we had an opportunity to expand and finally get the space we needed. That re-fit is the Up There store experience as you know it today.

Even then thanks to the incredible support from everyone in Australia and abroad our business continued to grow  so much so that after a few years we found ourselves once-again needing more space. This time the problem was a bit more serious, there wasn’t any more space to be had. This was unfortunately a sign that our time at McKillop St was coming to an end. We simply couldn’t do more with the space.

In thirteen years we've done as much as we can — the time to leave McKillop St has finally come.

What started as just us, has grown over the past decade or more to include a team of talented people who make this whole thing work. Where we once did it all alone, we now work with our entire crew to provide an experience which we never could have dreamed of all those years ago. Together as a team, Up There is about providing the best retail experience in Australia — something we’re set on taking to a whole new level with our new location.

To everyone that came to our end of the city, walked up the laneway, dealt with the seemingly never-ending construction and trekked up those stairs — it wouldn’t have been possible without you. We can’t thank you enough. If it weren’t for each and every one of our customers, we could never had done this. Without you McKillop St would have been the whole story, instead of a chapter in a longer story.

As we prepare to leave our original home, we’ll take our memories and the relationships we’ve built along the way. Life is about moving forward and for us there was never doubt that a new location was the next step to take.

In regards to what comes next, of course we’ll update you all in due time but for now we ask you wait patiently as we get it all ready. We are of course biased, but it’ll be worth the wait.

Our McKillop St store will be closed over the next few days as we prepare to relocate Up There to our new store. It will re-open on May 19th and continue trade until June 4th, before we say goodbye to the location for good.

See you soon,

The whole Up There crew.

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Up There on McKillop St
Important Dates
Sunday, May 14th Closed
Friday, May 19th Re-open
Sunday, June 4th Final day of trade
Trading Hours
Monday – Friday 11am – 5pm
Sundays
12pm – 4pm