These Vintage Photos Of Perth Restaurants And Cafes Are *Chefs Kiss* Stunning
Heads up all hospitality operators: we’ve found some A+ inspo for your next lush fit out.
We’re absolutely obsessed with these photos (all, bar one, via the very excellent State Library of Western Australia Facebook page) of restaurants and cafes around Perth, from 100 year old tearooms to ’90s cafeterias. In fact, we had spent so long sending them around an office email thread that we thought we may as well share them here, too!
First up has got to be the stunning University of WA coffee lounge, circa 1962. We can’t get enough of that pendant lighting, the chequered tiling, and those arches! If anyone wants to open a wine bar that perfectly recreates this interior, we will be very much on board.
From a similar era, the oh-so-sleek Bairds department store cafe: photographed in 1965, the store was located on the corner of Queen and Adelaide Streets in Freo where Target is currently. Photographed in the ’90s, the Fremantle Coles cafeteria had a similar mid-century charm.
Or, check out this bustling circa 1966 crowd in the Atheneum Coffee Lounge, which adjoined the Hoyts Cinema in the Perth CBD.
The UWA coffee lounge’s lighting feature is also reminiscent of a much earlier venue: the Temple Court Cabaret and Tearooms, pictured here in 1931. The indoor palms are integral!
The building, located on the corner of William Street and The Esplanade, was later renamed the Elder Building, and was sadly demolished in 1983 – you can find out more about its history via this post by the Museum of Perth.
Into the indoor plants? The Lattice, pictured here in 1952 (exterior) and 1951 (interior) has been decked out with an explosion of florals for Flower Day. The annual fundraising day saw the city covered in amazing floral displays, from bouquets within shops and cafes to elaborate garlands covering department store façades – you can check out more Flower Day photos in this Facebook post from the State Library.
In the exterior photo of the cafe, as well as an ornate coat of arms and British flags, you can see a sign next to the door which reads “We mourn our King” – the photo was believed to be taken just one week after the death of King George VI.
If that exterior looks a little familiar? The Lattice was located where Brookfield Place now is – if our detective work is correct, it’s the same shopfront that is now home to M.J. Bale. Just imagine: the Terrace before the invention of the North Face puffer vest.
Even earlier, Boans was the place to visit in the city! The expansive department store, located where you’ll now find Forrest Chase, was first opened in 1895 and operated until 1986 – this photo of their delightful tearooms is dated as approximately 1919, although the store changed names from Boan Bros to Boans Ltd in 1912.
Staying in the CBD but speeding ahead to 1987 are these spectacular photos of Carillon Arcade’s eateries – bring back the interior striped awning and copious wood panelling, we say!
Of course, why eat at Carillon Arcade when you can dine in the sky?! Photographed here in 1986 is Hilight 33, the iconic revolving restaurant atop St Martin’s Tower – which is now, of course, the one and only C Restaurant.
Of course, that wasn’t Perth’s first revolving restaurant. That honour goes to King Arthur’s Table, the Red Castle Motel’s resident restaurant. Before dinner, head to that cosy bar for a drink… Or just order room service to that luxurious suite! As if you couldn’t tell from the models, these photos were taken in 1984.
In more hotel dining: behold Club Capricorn’s chic eatery, circa 1986. As well as the restaurant (and its fabulous pendant lighting), the Yanchep resort was later home to Atlantis’ giant celebrity head sculptures following the marine park’s closure in 1990 (read more about Atlantis Marine Park here!).
Another stellar example of hotel restaurants? The vast, soaring Atrium Restaurant, located at Fremantle’s Esplanade Hotel and pictured here in 1986. Stunning!
We’re also pretty mesmerised by the glamorous, golden interiors of the Grand Palace Chinese Restaurant, photographed here in 1982. Located at 3 The Esplanade, the restaurant boasted spectacular riverfront views.
For the bawdier crowd, how about a visit to – and pardon us for saying this – Dirty Dick’s Elizabethan Room? 1976, what a time!
Some locations are a little more familiar – like the Golden Galleon, pictured in 1981, it was located at 40 Francis Street, Northbridge. Or this 1986 photograph of the Doric Street Chicken Treat, which remains practically unchanged!
And how could we finish but on this very familiar sight: Capri Restaurant and Mexican Kitchen, almost exactly the same now as they were here in 1984:
Some photos are available to purchase via the State Library Of WA. All photos, unless stated, via the State Library Of WA.