Tag Archives: Astoria Cafe

Mixed grill and pineapple phosphate soda

1940s Astoria Café menu from when my grandparents, Annibale (Joe) and Francesca waited tables there {courtesy Old Brisbane Album}. With many American GIs in Brisbane at the time items like ‘Yankee Lemonade’ and ‘American Beauty sundae’ made it to the menu along with the expected ‘Mixed Grill’ type of fare and perhaps surprisingly – ‘Double Decker Spaghetti Sandwiches’! The Astoria Café was at the busy corner of Edward and Adelaide streets and an office building now sits at the spot – 243 Edward – though I dearly wish the Astoria was still there.

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the Astoria Café…

Astoria cafe Astoria cafe buildingThe 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.

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