Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey


Athol's Abbey

 376a St. Kilda Road


Just north of the north-western corner of St. Kilda Road and Park Street


Athol's Abbey wine bar and restaurant was a favourite lunchtime spot underneath what was then the Casa de Manana Hotel (aka "Case of Bananas") on the north-western corner of Park Street and St. Kilda Road.

The staff were gay and proud of it; as for the customers, well, it was usually dark and crowded, so you paid your money and took your chances!

The entrance was on the far right of the building as shown circa 1980 (just past the tree), down the stairs, bar on the right and tables and eating areas left and centre.

Although I doubt anyone  from Control Data visited on weekends, it was a regular haunt in the 1970s for legendary Melbourne jazz musician, Frank Traynor, his band then known as the Jazz Preachers

Between the entrance and the hotel itself was Flanagan's Restaurant, which I don't recall ever visiting, but there inferences on a couple of web sites that it was also gay bar and restaurant done up in a style of the 1890s.

The hotel itself had a first-floor traditional pub dining-room in the hotel -very much of the traditional "meat and three veg." variety - which I recall one large group at some sort of celebratory or farewell lunch.

The main bar was on the corner, Control Data never used it, but Mike Spark will confirm it was aka as "Honeywell Head Office", and I remember a couple of visits there pre-joining Control Data when I was being head-hunted by Honeywell.

This was around the time anti-Vietnam War protestors put a couple of shotgun blasts through their ground floor computer room window - 598 seemed a more safer option)!

Tony Bell suggests it was also a regular for CDA engineers at the T.A.B.

See our Casa de Manana page for the history of the building