It was once Canberra's answer to Rodeo Drive; a bustling block of expensive boutique clothing and jewellery stores that lured the women of Griffith, Red Hill and Yarralumla in for hours of shopping and a quick coffee at Caph's afterward.
But it's a much quieter time for retailers at the Manuka shops in 2018, with many stores on Furneaux Street looking run-down and, according to one retailer, the ACT government paying little attention to even keeping the area clean.
While iconic jewellery store Briolette's decision to leave Manuka is personal - owners Diana Thompson and Robert Hunt are retiring - the general consensus among retailers at the southside shopping centre is business in Manuka is "OK".
Many see the need for a serious injection of love from commercial landlords and the ACT government to return the Manuka shops to the former glory of the 1980s and '90s.
According to Ms Thompson, who opened Briolette with Mr Hunt in Manuka Arcade in 1989 (they met studying rare gems at CIT in the mid-1980s), the gradual and significant shift in the retail store to cafe ratio has hurt retailers.
She says nowadays Canberrans head to Manuka for long, leisurely, coffee-fuelled catch-ups with friends, and only add a spot of shopping on the end of their visit if they have the time.
"In the early days it was really good selective shops, with a few cafes," Ms Thompson said.
"Maybe the last 10 years ... it's become more a cafe destination - it's the place to come and brunch.
"We used to have quite a number of top notch shoe shops, we had good dress shops, there was just a really good mix and the mix has definitely changed - there are a lot more cafes.
"Every time somewhere shuts, it becomes a cafe, which wrecks the mix."
Ms Thompson describes the decision to close Briolette as "incredibly hard".
"It's been a joy to work with Canberrans on unique and beautiful jewellery," she said.
"Now, we often see the children of couples we sold engagement rings to back in the 1990s coming in to buy their own engagement rings - it's lovely.
"But when the lease was coming up, we just decided that to go another five years on a commercial lease just wasn't viable, for a number of reasons."
Long-term Manuka retailer Marlene McCarthy, who has owned interiors store Country House on Franklin Street for 25 years, wants to see the landlords of Manuka actively contributing to a more vibrant shopping precinct.
"It would be great see the landlords adding a bit of interest like some sculptures or public art - just to update the area," she said.
"What [St. Christopher's] church has done [with its development on Franklin Street] looks great, it blends in beautifully, I think we need more of that.
"There seems to be a lot of take from landlords but not much give."
Ms McCarthy wants to see less focus from the ACT government on "the periphery - like getting people into [Manuka] stadium" and more focus "on what they've already got and doing it well".
"It's just the general streetscape, sweeping the streets every day, having the bins emptied and general cleanliness by the ACT authorities."
George Bezos, owner of Bijoux Jewellers, has had a rough couple of months. His store on Bougainville Street was broken into twice in the space of a few months but he's staying positive.
He has all eyes on future Manuka, which includes the eventual redevelopment of the Stuart Flats on Captain Cook Crescent and Sotiria Liangis's proposed redevelopment of the existing Capitol cinema complex into a seven-storey luxury hotel.
"Manuka's about to go through a bit of a regeneration," Mr Bezos said.
"There are new developments coming in which means that brings more people. Thery're going to be living here and coming in to Manuka - so that's a great prospect."
And while he agrees the Manuka shopping precinct generally needs some love, he's taking matters into his own hands.
"We're going to change the shop and the way we operate to grow with what the demand is. You've got to move with the times."