Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey
89 Acland Street, St. Kilda
Western side, around 50 metres south of the joint intersection of Acland Street with The Esplanade and Shakespeare Grove.
I recall eating there, but not in connection with CDA.
Ron Bird delightfully described the owner of the restaurant during his visits there as "a jolly rotund Chinese man who I thought did a good job of impersonating Benny Hill impersonating a Chinese gentleman".
(Given this update comes about a week after the 2016 U.S.A. Presidential Election, I think Donald Trump should also get a guernsey).
The Chinese gentleman was in all probability Bob Fong, attributed in a history of St. Kilda as one of the more significant restaurateurs in the suburb.
To say that the southern section of Acland Street now famed as a cosmopolitan shopping and restaurant precinct has changed over the last hundred years would be a massive under-
The section from The Esplanade through to Barkly Street has for the last sixty or seventy years been wall-
The 1900 directory shows on the western side (where the Fairy Stork was situated) just 12 properties running from number 78 at The Esplanade-
The original 89 Acland Street appears to have been a fairly substantial residence known as "Wairona". -
It appears to be around this time that this section of Acland Street started to be commercialised. Wairona is known to have been used as a boarding house in 1922 and is still shown as a private residence in 1924 (with the Margalos brothers Oyster Saloon at 85-
But the problem is that 89 in those years wasn't the original Wairona, with the number of subdivisions of the larger estates forcing a renumbering of the street, by 1920 extending to 121 on the western side.
The new number 89 was from at least 1936 being conducted as a specialist eating-
Perhaps as a portent of things to come, it appears that 89 may have been one of Melbourne's early Chinese restaurants -
By 1940, but probably earlier, it was specialising in an American tradition, the name -
I also haven't checked the exact year that the Bill arrived in Acland Street, but as the accompanying report from The Argus of 18 April, 1942 tells us it was one of a chain of restaurants, the first of which opened its doors in North Melbourne in 1934.
Despite Bailey's misfortune, Hamburger Bill in Acland Street continued trading (advertisements appeared for the sale of shop fittings for at least three of the stores in 19410. The proprietor in 1944 was one Henry "Harry" Saunders (who had problems of his own with a warrant being issued in 1946 for his arrest on charges on non-
It first appeared as the Fairy Stork in 1970 directories -
P.S. The research reveals Acland Street took its name from Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, a British baronet and politician who owned the schooner Lady of St Kilda between 1834 and 1840. The area was named when the vessel was moored off the beach during a visit to Melbourne in 1842.
"The Oxford Dictionary of Saints" describes St. Kilda as "virtually unknown" -
St. Kilda's name is believed to be derived from a rocky island off the west coast of Scotland. Seamen from the Scandinavian countries commonly travelled around the island, and an old Norse word "Skildar" meaning "shield" is thought be some historians as being the true name of the island based on the contours of the island at sea level resembling a shield.
I couldn't identify a definitive date as to when the Fairy Stork closed, but I did find an article in The Age in 2003 bemoaning the gradual loss of the ethnic tradition of Acland Street which noted the Fairy Stork as one of the Chinese businesses "about to close". It certainly existed late enough for a number of business directory web sites to still include the company name, although the currency of these, like many other sites of this ilk must be a question mark.
The site's current use proved a little hard to determine, given that premises in most crowded shopping strips in inner Melbourne areas seem surprisingly reluctant to actually display the street number unless it is part of the advertising pitch.
Fortunately, the Jewish/Continental cake shop immediately to the south shows 91, and hence 89 is now the southern section of the double frontage of Rococo, an up-
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