The Astoria Café in Brisbane, where my grandparents worked in the 1940s, had long been demolished by the time I wrote about it. I relied on my grandparents’ stories and old pictures and wished it had still been around for me to see.
Recently, I was in Sydney to talk about Joe’s Fruit Shop and Milk Bar at a conference and author, Estelle Pinney, who’d been in the audience, approached me afterwards. Estelle told me she’d enjoyed reading Joe’s very much and that she had frequented the Astoria Café many times in the forties. (I don’t think Estelle will mind me saying that she is now in her eighties and extremely sprightly!) It was wonderful to hear her recollections of the café and as always, I’m so grateful for the insights into the past that writing this book has opened to me.
Thank you to all of you who have shared how Joe’s has connected with your own lives, past and present.
4 responses to “the Astoria Café…”
How gorgeous is this story about Estelle and how wonderful that you were able to connect with her. I love how you have brought your heritage back to life. While I have not yet read Joe’s Fruit Shop and Milk Bar, I certainly intend to. My Dad also ran a milk bar for many years, and I can relate to many of the things you have blogged about in relation to your family’s experiences.
Hello Anne, it is so lovely to receive your message – thank you! And really wonderful to hear you are planning to read Joe’s Fruit Shop and Milk Bar – I hope you enjoy it. That’s great that your Dad ran a milk bar, I think you will discover many things in Joe’s that may be quite familiar to you – smiling. By the way, I love your photograph (I have one that was taken when I was about the same age with my hair almost identical to yours!) Warm wishes, Zoe
Hi zoe, my name is angie, my mum has recently passed but going through her things i have come across a couple of receipts saying c/o the astoria cafe , this was about 1955 my dads name was george veneris my mum was valerie veneris, just wondered if you know their names at all.
Hello Angie, I appreciate your contacting me. I am sorry to hear about your Mum. You know, there were so many names that I heard through my grandparents’ stories that I don’t remember them all but for some reason the name Veneris does stand out. My grandparents were at the Astoria in the 1940s, would your parents have been there around that time? I would very much love to see the Astoria Café receipts that you came across. Perhaps if I contact you via the email address you provided would you be able to scan them and send me a copy via email? Zoe x