Melba Café / New York Sundae Shop, Brisbane
In 1918 the Girdis family began operating the Melba Café at 216 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley. The family had migrated from Alatsata, Asia Minor (Turkey) and had initially run the Central Coffee Palace in George Street, Brisbane.
The café went through three name changes (Melba Café; New York Sundae Shop; Melba Café and Milk Bar) over its 66-year trading period. The Melba Café and Milk Bar business was finally sold in 1984.
Exhibition – Meet me at the Paragon
State Library’s latest exhibition, Meet me at the Paragon explores how the creation of American-style cafes enabled Greek migrants of the early to mid-1900s to carve out a new life in a foreign land. The exhibition runs from 27 September 2019 until 15 March 2020.
- Brisbane's Greek Cafés: a million malted milks by Toni Risson.
- The Greeks in Queensland: a history from 1859-1945 by Denis A. Conomos.
Heidi Stevens – Librarian, State Library of Queensland