Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Cafes Once Were City Hubs

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Cafes Once Were City Hubs

Article excerpt

Christina Ongley

Mike Derry

THERE are few vestiges left of them now but, for several decades, Bourbong Street was home to some grand old cafes that were a gathering point for Bundaberg's townsfolk over some tasty treats and a cup of tea or a milk-shake.

Three in particular were the Crystal Cafe (also known as Harveys Cafe, after family who ran it), and the Elite Cafe and Cafe Royal, run by the well-known Lathouras family, whose name also became synonymous with the businesses they operated.

The Crystal Cafe opened on August 6, 1921, at 67 Bourbong St (now occupied by Homeart).

The cafe was opened by sisters Gertrude and Dorothy Harvey, whose parents Henry and Margaret were among Bundaberg's earliest settlers and ran a drapery, grocery, general merchant store and bakery.

The sisters teamed up with friend Alice Greathead to operate the cafe, which was actually supposed to open on Monday, August 1, but a series of ads in the Bundaberg Mail and Bundaberg Daily News explains the delay.

"Misses Harvey and Greathead announce that the Crystal Cafe will be opened on Monday," proclaimed an ad in the Bundaberg Mail on July 30, 1921. "High-class catering of all kinds - afternoon teas, home-made cakes, sundaes, ice creams; also cigarettes and tobacco."

But come Monday, the cafe was not open.

"Owing to some of the machinery failing to come to hand on Saturday, the opening of the Crystal Cafe today will be delayed in consequence," said a follow-up ad on Monday. "The machinery, it is hoped, will be installed during the next few days and the opening date will be duly announced."

Harveys Cafe then opened and ran without a hitch for the next 26 years.

When Dorothy married in 1923, Gertrude took over sole ownership and ran it until the mid-1930s, when younger brother Ernest "Manco" Harvey came in to help. …

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