This building at 190 Parramatta Road, Stanmore is part of the passing streetscape en route to Railway Square, Sydney. The sign under the awning proclaims “milk and snack” “smokes sweets”. The right hand doors are usually open on the return journey of my daily commute; the interior is gloomy day and night. I wonder when the Olympia Salon on the first floor ceased to offer “style cutting” and “nutri-tonic perms”.
Interior view, copyright intermix.com.au
A Google search turned up that the business has an almost cult following and the building is on the NSW Office and Environment and Heritage list: Olympia Milk Bar, excerpt below:
The building and its ground floor shopfront and ground floor shop interior fitout in particular are of historical significance as evidence of the development of commercial leisure related activity along this section of Parramatta Road from 1912, The building, originally a billiard room associated with a skating rink at 192-200 Parramatta Road., refurbished and reopened in 1939 as the Olympia Milk Bar in association with the Olympia Picture Theatre which replaced the skating rink at 192-200 Parramatta Road. The Olympia Milk Bar has retained its name and fabric from 1939. The building is rare for its surviving 1939 shopfront and interior shop fitout, which is historically associated with the Olympia Picture Theatre. The building’s shop fitout from 1939 is the last physical evidence of a cinema in the locality ( the Olympia Picture Theatre and later Stanmore Twin Theatre which operated next door at 192-200 Parramatta Road until the late 1990s).
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance] The building’s 1939 shopfront and ground floor shop fitout is of aesthetic significance as a rare intact shop fitout from this period.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance] The building has social significance both for past and present community as a rare intact 1939 shop.
My apologies for the poor quality of the exterior image, the bus I was sitting on started to move as I took it. There is a better photograph and another post here from 2011: Olympia Milk Bar
- Interior photos and the inside story: Olympia Milk Bar
- Radio documentary: Olympia milk bar
- YouTube clip: Olympia The Eternal Milk Bar
- YouTube clip: Olympic milk bar Parramatta Road Annandale
- Observations and stories are available here: The Olympia Milk Bar: Dracula’s Den or Parramatta Road’s Treasure
- Review and Olympia Milk Bar etiquette: These milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard
- Olympia Alternate Reality Milk Bar