Hanging on the back wall of the Amcal Pharmacy in Woonona is a painting of the suburb's commercial strip near the turn of the 20th century.
The facade of the Industrial Cooperative Society stands out against the escarpment, as does an advertisement for Goldenia Tea painted onto the side of a building, but besides the curve of the Princes Highway as it passes through the commercial town, there is not much else recognisable.
The commercial strip, which has gone through its fair share of transformations, marked another one this week after the Amcal pharmacy re-opened its front door, 10 months on from when it had to shut after a fire that ripped through an adjacent Thai restaurant significantly damaged the building.
Now with a door open to the street, pharmacist and owner Michael Goodman said he's starting to see life return.
"It's like a village, and that's coming back," he said.
The fire, which broke out on December 21, caused widespread damage to the pharmacy's roof, and as builders got to work to repair the aged building, more mysteries were uncovered.
As repairs were underway, the pharmacy switched to having customers enter via the rear lane, enabling them to continue to fill scripts, however most of the retail section was gone.
Mr Goodman and co-owner Craig Arthur have also had to contend with a construction industry in crisis, but said the coordination from builder Advanced Construction meant work could continue.
In the meantime, businesses along the Princes Highway have not only had to contend with three significant businesses either closing or reducing operations, they have also felt the effects of cutbacks in consumer spending as rising interest rates and grocery bills eat into budgets for discretionary spending.
Woonona florist Penny Wilson's premises is two doors up from the buildings where the blaze raged for two and a half hours and lost much of her pre-Christmas stock due to the electricity being cut.
Looking ahead to this Christmas, she said she was not going to be ordering as much as in the past.
She had noticed some pick up in foot traffic since the pharmacy reopened but it wasn't back to what it once was.
"We need locals to support local businesses so local businesses don't close," she said.
A question mark remains on the site of the Thai restaurant, which currently sits boarded off and secured with a bike lock. Selling agent Tony Moschella of WHK Commercial said the site came with a number of challenges, including a skinny block narrowing towards the back, a creek on the rear boundary and the lingering effects on the fire.
The sellers had dropped the price multiple times, but were motivated to find the right buyer.
Mr Moschella said the property had received interest from nearly two dozen parties, and would suit a retail operator or hospitality business.
Ms Wilson said a business similar to The Old Fitz in Bulli would enliven the area, and create more reasons for locals and visitors to stop by.
It was a sentiment echoed by Mr Goodman, who said he would welcome a new neighbour.
"Anything that adds to that community feeling of having a main street would be my pick."
In the meantime, work is continuing on the back of the store, extending the footprint and preparing for a dispensing robot that Mr Goodman hopes to install before Christmas - a far cry from the horse and carriage heading down the main street pictured in the artwork on the wall.
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