Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

Jimmy Watson's

 333 Lygon Street, Carlton


West side, around 30 metres south of Grattan Street.


Ron Bird suggested that this was a favourite spot for a few, principally George Crawford, but I suspect there were others from Control Data  with links to Melbourne University where much of Jimmy Watson's trade came from that may well have been regulars.  

Ron also suggested that a visit to Watson's probably meant a "no appearance, Your Worship" for the rest of (usually) Friday afternoon.

That may have impacted the only time I went to Jimmy's while at Control Data - I'm pretty sure George was involved along with a Cybernet salesman, name forgotten - we arrived after the kitchen had closed and lunch was an olive and two lettuce leaves (we shared), accompanied by about seven bottles of vin ordinare upstairs overlooking the lane-way at the back.

Can't recall whether we made it back to 598, which means the answer is probably NO.   (Again, this is a site whether others may be able to provide feedback)


Jimmy Watson's was first established in 1937 when he bought the freehold of a property in Lygon Street from a man who died soon after at 101 years of age.

James Calixte Watson himself was originally a professional musician, but his father had extensive experience in the hotel trade, his parents Jimmy senior and the Italian-born Giselda running a wine shop at 243 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy from 1920 to around 1956.  His unusual second name came that from Calixte Denat, Giselda's brother and a renowned Swiss French restaurateur in Exhibition street.

(above) The interior of Jimmy Watson's, circa 1963 (below) the exterior today The famous Metala label (vintage uncertain). The design originated in the 1950 and is credited to artist by Wytt Morro. There is some belief that the Metal ranges were the first to carry individual bottle numbers See Also Jimmy Watson Trophy winners : 1962-2014 Australian Dictionary of Biography :