Olympia Milk Bar and Salon

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

Related information:

Aunt Maud


In the mid ’90s I was living on the outskirts of Worcester, UK. While out for a stroll I came across some farm buildings that were being converted into a restaurant. Being England, a pleasant sunny afternoon quickly turned dark as rain clouds rolled in from the Malvern Hills. I decided to head home; on turning the corner of the farm I noticed a number of framed portraits on the side of the road leaning against the side of a red brick barn. The pictures were in various states of decay suffering from water damage and mildew.

By now large rain drops began falling, so I hastily grabbed one the photographs and headed home. I was able to lightly clean the picture and restore the frame.

My female ancestors have a curious assortment of first names from Doris through Hilda to Emmelina. As far as I was aware none were named Maud, so as the the unknown woman in the picture looked like someone I wouldn’t mind having as an ancestor she became my adopted Aunt Maud. Years later while researching relatives in my family tree I found I had a great grand mother called Matilda. Maud is a medieval form of Matilda, spooky………..

Aunt Maud hangs above a stone mantle piece in the kitchen. The fireplace would have housed the range when the house was built around the turn of the 20th century. A fitting place for my great grandmother’s namesake to watch over us.