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Old fashioned Sydney Milk Bar

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Glasgow, United...
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Old fashioned Sydney Milk Bar

I walked in to this Milk Bar on Parramatta Road, near Johnstone Street. and it took me back to the 50's at least. In fact it is probably as old as the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I had a Strawberry milk shake for the fantastic price of $2.90 and I sat and chatted to the owner. He is very disillusioned with the public who seem to think they should just stand and stare in and not buy something. I would recommend a visit as it is a trip back in time, which is more and more difficult to experience these days. I am from Glasgow and would be delighted to hear from anyone else who has been inside this delightful venue.

John Reid

Glasgow, United...
6 posts
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21. Re: Old fashioned Sydney Milk Bar

My wife and i are over to see my daughter and son who both live in Sydney. The big highlight is my first grandchilds' birthday tomorrow. Little Max will be ONE year old. As suppose if my wife and I have a favourite venue in Sydney it would have to be Darling Harbour and my favourite journey is on the ferry to Manly. Super Duper.

Sydney, Australia
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21 posts
2 reviews
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22. Re: Old fashioned Sydney Milk Bar

Are you sure that the venue is not Olympia Milk Bar? Its at 190 Paramatta Road.

I have never been but the stories are legendary. The old gentleman who owns it only does milkshakes and tea, old chocolate boxes line the walls with nothing in them...

More info:

abc.net.au/rn/360/stories/2011/3157086.htm

www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=3269644294

eatability.com.au/au/sydney/olympia-milk-bar/

Sydney Australia
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95 reviews
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23. Re: Old fashioned Sydney Milk Bar

Well. We did stop by the Olympia Milk Bar. Some detailed information available including photos on sites other than those above also. If you google Olympia Milk Bar Stanmore pretty much a whole page of links will appear.

At first we were a little unsure about the joint as all was dark. We went in and found noone there. We looked around for an extended period. Noone came. After what seemed like an age the proprieter, who is an elderly man that locals say is in his 80s came out. Hubby had been delegated the job of guinea pig.

Our experience was consistent with what is reported online. There's not a lot on the menu, indeed no menu is posted anywhere, but think of it as visiting your very elderly grandad who owns a milkshake machine. Maybe a milkshake, maybe a cup of tea or basic coffee. A piece of toast. Things an old age pensioner might have in the house. The chocolate milkshake hubby ordered was fine. Very chocolately. Only about half full, but hey its only $2.90. There is no takeaway. There is (almost) no light.

We understand there is no need to be concerned the place might be shut when you are passing. It opens early in the morning and doesn't close till about midnight.. or so locals told us.

Yep. Unique. When the old man passes on, given the fame of this place, I would say it might work really well for someone with some money to restore the Olympia or at least preserve it and bring a return to a full menu. It is in a killer location.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Family Travel
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24. Re: Old fashioned Sydney Milk Bar

Interesting observations Snodge, I get the feeling you were slightly underwhelmed?

Sounds like more a spot for locals who want a small milkshake & a snack but not really worth the time for the short stay visitor to Sydney?

Edited: 03 April 2011, 06:52
Sydney Australia
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8,056 posts
95 reviews
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25. Re: Old fashioned Sydney Milk Bar

Frankly Mikey, its a place for people who like old people and want to be kind. Clearly this place is the old man's life, so he keeps getting up and opening the doors but it's not really running as a "milk bar" IMHO. It's an old man who just happens to live at the bus stop in the premises of his 1950s milk bar, which, as others have observed has not been modernised in all that time, making it a bit of a museum piece.

Is it good for visitors? I guess that's a decision for each individual. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with making the old man a spectacle for gawkers, but on the other hand, if people wanted to take a break at this place in the full knowledge of what the place is, and they are happy to have a milkshake or whatever and perhaps talk to the elderly proprietor, then I certainly won't discourage them.

Edited: 03 April 2011, 07:07
Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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26. Re: Old fashioned Sydney Milk Bar

OOOh, I just had a look at some footage...

How is Mr Snodge today?

When they say original condition they mean it. Bit like renovators delight.

BTW I'm one of the thousands who have gone past on the bus and jusr gone yuk...

LOL remember the thread here a few months back about Sydney suburbs being run down and decrepit...maybe the OP passed the milk bar.

Edited: 03 April 2011, 07:12
Sydney Australia
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27. Re: Old fashioned Sydney Milk Bar

How is Mr Snodge?

Given the visual impact of the place, I was worried about that one, especially as we were on our way to Aria for dinner and thence to a play, so we really didn't want to get sick, but honestly, the milkshake was perfectly fine. Better than average in fact. Not the best I've ever had, but certainly far from being the worst.

I fall into the category of person who thinks most of the inner west suburbs people rave about are run down and decrepit! So I'd be in the chorus with that person who made the comment LOL. This milk bar may be the extreme end of it, but honestly, people seem to refurb intereriors but owners and landlords should get stuck in and maintain the exteriors IMHO.

...and I will note for lurkers, there are plenty of well maintained suburbs and centres, just for some reason the "trendy" places tend to be the ratty ones, or the high end ones that are well maintained, will often get recommended, but the just ordinary well maintained local shopping centres and town centres are not usually considered tourist worthy for some reason.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney
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28. Re: Old fashioned Sydney Milk Bar

I know that milkbar,its not much to look at but if it does sell great milkshakes,well might make the effort .....although a bit hard to tell my passengers im just hopping in to the shop to grab a malted banana shake.Miss having them done in the old metal holders and were so nice and cold.

>>just reminded me of the bleeding awesome Milk Bar in Appin...one of the best burgers I've ever had

<< @guruswife.....was that the old shop on the corner,with a large open car park,sold fruit and veg as well?as you head down from Appin Road to the Gong,had an oldwares shop and garage on the other corners?

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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29. Re: Old fashioned Sydney Milk Bar

Could be, only went in once...

on RHS heading south.... and yes did have an open carpark

Word of mouth,

apparently the old Miami Milk Bar in Panania is still traditional

Edited: 03 April 2011, 12:35
Melbourne
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30. Re: Old fashioned Sydney Milk Bar

Were you over here 50 years ago then Glasgow-Reidy?