When the world's attention turned to Wollongong during the UCI Road World Championships for a week in September, not only did they see the Sea Cliff Bridge and the Wollongong Lighthouse, but also the quirkier side of Wollongong, including, the infamous "palm up a pole".
Whether a source of derision or mirth, the unique art installation caught the globe's eye, and one Wollongong business-owner hopes that this attention can help the CBD turn over a new leaf.
His Boy Elroy owner Lachlan Steven is launching a "palm up a pole" burger, with all funds raised to go towards rehoming the cabbage tree palms in the Wollongong Botanic Gardens.
"Palm trees belong in holes, not up poles," he said. "There's no doubt that the Crown Street palm trees have a legacy in this city, but now it's time to plant a new one."
While the initiative hasn't yet received approval from Wollongong City Council, other Wollongong movers and shakers have backed the move.
MMJ Director Travis Machan said new ideas were needed for the often maligned mall.
"There have been many professional studies, reports completed, and discussions had over the years regarding the Mall and its struggle to accommodate the needs of the very different retail market," Mr Machan said.
"Seeing it removed would signify a change for the better and possibly a continued commitment to reactivate this important CBD precinct."
With businesses along the mall complaining of a particularly dire period during the UCI Championships, Mr Stevens said it was time to rethink the treatment of traffic in the mall.
"Opening it up to slow moving traffic, whether it's one way like they've done at lower Crown or whether it's two way or only for buses or bikes will allow people to travel through the city with ease."
In July, Council considered a plan to allow cyclists to travel on Crown Street Mall but has not yet taken action.
Mr Stevens said Council needed to think big when it came to activating the mall.
"Let's not do these half steps in trying to reactivate a mall through art installation, which is good, don't get me wrong, and has a place, but it shouldn't be the only thing that they believe can reactivate a mall. They need to think a little bit grander."
As for what the burger will be, Mr Stevens says it's a tropical themed chicken burger, perhaps with a burnt butter aioli to remember when the palm was singed.
We've made it a whole lot easier for you to have your say. Our new comment platform requires only one log-in to access articles and to join the discussion on the Illawarra Mercury website. Find out how to register so you can enjoy civil, friendly and engaging discussions. Sign up for a subscription here.