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Gourmet's Guide to Lismore & District


Annex A
  Cafe Paraphernalia

 Annex B
  Wedding Photographs


Cafe Paraphernalia

Many thanks to the Trustees of the Drew Collection of Lismore Memorabilia for the following photos of Greek café paraphernalia.

All the crockery was manufactured at various times by the same English company, ‘Grindley Hotel Ware Co’, for the Sydney import firm of Gibson & Paterson Pty Ltd, suggesting that the firm’s travelling salesman was a smooth talking operator who had the Lismore market, and possibly the whole North Coast of NSW, sewn up.

Feros Cafe

The Feros plate came from a batch dated ’11-1923’ and was probably part of a bulk order placed by the extended Feros clan, who had branches at Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore at this time (having sold out of Mullumbimby in 1921, but not extending their reach to Evans Head until 1936/37). Apart from Angelo Crethar, the Feros were the only restaurateurs in the region to use their own moniker as a café name, perhaps signalling grand visions of a franchise chain, or seeking to establish a high-recognition brand name like Comino and Peters. (Besides, it was an expensive business to change a café name – unless taking the Johnny Feros route of covering all bases with an assortment of crockery embossed with ‘Monterey’, ‘Marble Bar’, etc. Don’t ask.)

Garden of Roses Cafe

These plates are also from the batch dated ’11-1923’, suggesting that in one trip the gifted travelling salesman made a successful pitch to a number of Greek café proprietors.
Peter Nick Bavea, aka Peter Peters, arrived in town in about 1917 to acquire the café housing Lismore’s very first soda fountain. After a fire and a makeover in mid 1920 the place re-emerged as the Garden of Roses Café, which appears to be the first café in Lismore to start advertising as a Sundae Shop. Peter was an aggressive marketer and in early 1921 came up with the gimmick of opening a booth at the racecourse every Friday and Saturday, which laid the foundations for a general catering business, later developed by his brother Jack.
He passed the business to his brother Jack around late 1923, shortly after the Great Barrow Wars, although it’s understood he retained a share of the business as a silent partner. He moved to Brisbane for a while before acquiring the Royal Hotel at Mundubbera, near Maryborough, trading as Peters & Co, possibly with a partner. Sometime in the late 1920s he came back to Lismore for a year or so before disappearing to Melbourne following some more odd goings-on in the Garden.

Bavea's Catering Company

These plates are from batch ’04-1930’ (but could be 1950 – it’s hard to read)
While Peter Bavea tried a career change as a publican his brothers, Jack and Jim, carried on in Lismore. Jim seems to have been the initiator of the catering business when ‘Bavea Bros’ acquired a 7 seat Studebaker in late 1922 to transport the wherewithal to the various picnics, banquets and general functions they contracted for. But outside this task the car seems to have been a white elephant and was continually advertised for hire, under Jim’s name, until sold in mid 1923 during the ‘barrow wars’ debacle. Thereafter the business reverted to a traditional café until Jack resurrected the 'away catering' concept in ~1930 and, as a cunning Depression strategy in reducing overheads, operated from his house in North Lismore.

Bavea's Catering Company

Over 25yrs Jack catered for weddings and functions at nearly every village hall in the Richmond region, often completing a circle in provisioning wedding feasts for the children of the parents he had earlier catered for.

Crethar’s Café

The batch number on the right hand plate is hard to read, but looks like 12-1935, while ‘Crethar’s’ on the left is 06-1939, coincidental with the date of Angelo Crethar’s makeover of his premier Sundae Shop into ‘Crethar’s Airconditioned Café.’
Angelo probably made a bulk order for crockery to supply his 4 Sundae Shops in town, opened progressively from 1923 after his arrival from Ballina. Around 1935 he consolidated in his main outlet in Molesworth Street.

Crethar’s Café


After the destruction of the 1945 flood Angelo Crethar’s restaurant was again renovated and made even more opulent, cementing his establishment as the favoured haunt of Lismore’s glitterati, particularly the after-theatre dress circle crowd. But fearing poaching by the ever-innovating Capitol, at one stage he introduced silver goblets for the serving of hot milkshakes during winter, quickly finding that the things were too hot to handle and generating much amusement amongst his compatriots (who subsequently offered Latte in glasses without handles.) The engraver’s spelling of ‘Crether’s’ was an omen.

Regent Café

The cup carries the batch number 01-1947 and the saucer 10-1948. By this time the Regent was in the hands of Veniamin Gialouris of Mytilini. Presumably he decided to start with a clean slate upon acquiring the place from Harry and Nick Jim Crethar in ~1946. [Or perhaps there was nothing left to acquire, as the place had a clientele of barbarian kleptomaniacs at one stage. (Other stories indicate theft and destruction was a perennial problem for cafes everywhere. The conspiracy theorists reckon that smart travelling salesman was behind it.)]

Canberra Café

This tea pot probably came from Paul Coronakes’s Canberra Café, although the Canberra name disappeared from Lismore around 1925 and wasn’t resurrected until about 1935, (in a different location), when the Carkagis Bros acquired Peter Bavea’s original shop.

Vogue Milk Bar


Angelo Crethar and Nick Crones established the Vogue Milk Bar next to the new theatre in 1936, the place remaining under this name until it closed in the 1960s. Presumably this tea/coffee pot, (or milk jug?), was part of the original outfitting purchase.

A bit of confusion arose in 1946 when two Greeks claimed to be ‘Jack Bavea, Caterer’ (just when the Lismoriotes had got used to the fact that almost everyone in Greece was named Harry Crethar). Jack Nick Bavea’s cousin, Jack Kyriacos Bavea, arrived from Tingha that year to buy into the Vogue, initially in partnership with Nick Crones until Nick opened the New City Milk Bar a year or so later.


Capitol Cafe


The Capitol was created by the Vlismas Bros in 1929 and 8yrs later passed to Dendrinos & Manias, who probably inherited the teapot along with all the other crockery/cutlery/... wherewithal.

Mecca Cafe

The Mecca was opened by Jack Forrester in 1933 and remains in business to this day. But the original sugar bowls and tea pots disappeared many years ago.

Peters & Co Kyogle

Batch number 10-1946
The trade name Peters & Co made its first appearance in Kyogle in 1923, shortly after Jim Coroneo joined the partnership of Peter Conomo and George Malano, although the nature of George's shareholding is a mystery after his move to Nimbin. Stan Gleeson joined the partnership in 1927 when Peters & Co erected its new edifice incorporating two cafes, but both outlets were simply known as 'Peters' and remained as such long after the partners had sold up.
Peters & Co became the sole possession of Conomo and Gleeson in 1931.
(Courtesy Tom Maxwell)

Note: The Grindley company and the Gibson & Paterson salesmen also had a grip on the Tweed-Brunswick market:


Batch Number '1-29'
This plate was probably introduced to the Mullum Cafe during the stewardship of Con Specis 1929-34, but possibly by his predecessor George Pappas 1922-29.
(Courtesy Brunswick Valley Historical Society)

Batch Number '5-29'
The Chinaman Willie Choy opened The Central Cafe at Murwillumbah in 1928, that same year following Themistoklis Kopeleas (Tom Copland) of the nearby Bellevue Cafe with the introduction of a dial-a-takeaway service, on the short list as the first in the Region.
(Courtesy Tweed Regional Museum)


At Murwillumbah Grindleys also outfitted Mark Cassimatis's Civic Cafe - see Joanna Boileau's history of the milk jug at (and Varella's Tweed Fruit Exchange paraphernalia at ).

It's possible the Greek association with Grindley began in ~1907 when the Andronicus Bros (of later Coffee fame) established an import/export/distribution business in Sydney. John and Emmanuel Damianos Andronicus (of the Kytherian village of Mylopotamos and allegedly the first cousins of the Lismore Andronicos) were the travelling salesmen part of the enterprise. They journeyed by train around NSW armed with samples, seeking orders from shop-keepers for tea, coffee, olive oil, sauces, crockery, cutlery and other cafe wherewithal (including 'fancy goods'.)



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