Monday, January 25, 2010

Eating at the Athenaeum

Now I think it was on the north east corner of Elizabeth and Collins Street. We clambered down a dingy stair case to the basement level where the Atheneaum Restaurant was located. I don't know if it was at all connected to the Athenaeum Club or Athenaeum Library. The restaurant appears to have gone now and it was no where near The Athenaeum Club anyway.

The food was very plain and very cheap. By plain, I mean plain, not bad. Tasty home style cooking and the closest place I can compare it to is Coles Cafeteria in Bourke Street but with carpet, now David Jones.

The waitresses were all older women and most of the customers were older too. Half a dozen young gay men dining in the restaurant must have made their day a bit interesting.

Anyone remember it?

While I was fruitlessly searching for any information, I came across this list of rules for the Athenaeum Club. I thoroughly approve except for the jacket and tie.

Club Etiquette

  • Business papers are not to be displayed in the public rooms of the Club.
  • Business cards are not to be exchanged.
  • Mobile phones are prohibited except in the Business Centre.
  • Jacket and tie at all times except in designated areas. Casual clothing maybe worn in the lift going to and from accommodation.
  • Tipping is not allowed, contributions are accepted for the staff Christmas fund.
  • Primarily a gentlemen’s club, ladies are only permitted to use the facilities on the 3rd and 4th floors (accommodation and restaurant) unless attending a function within the Club– gentlemen are allowed to use all facilities.


  1. What an excellent list of rules. I might print them up and pin them to my front door.

  2. Remember it? Sure. It was underneath a groovy menswear store called SOTHEBYS. I bought a crepe striped shirt there once. pink and purple, so MOD.
    Every Thursday night through 1965 and 66, my gang of friends all met there for a dinner of the only proper food we ever ate. Judy worked at the E.S.& A Bank in Collins St, Christine worked at Edward Lumley Shipping Agents on Collins, Janine worked at the PMG on Lonsdale, and Joanne worked at Brasch's in Elizabeth St. We all went to Rosebud High School together and moved to the city for the nightlife (if you can imagine!).
    The waitresses at The Athenaeum Cafe were all called Valerie, Beryl or Phyllis, and had been doing it for years.

  3. Sounds dreadful.

  4. roadkill, then?

  5. Christ almighty...waitresses called Beryl - now thats a name from the past - thank god

  6. Glad you approve Brian.

    I should have guessed you would know it Ann. They all looked like their names indicate they should look. T'was a funny place.

    Meant for different times Victor. As you can now see, it was around in the sixties.

    Who would know Jayne. Everything was probably boiled to mush and the meat perhaps tenderising in hot water.

    MC, you have just offended all my readers called Beryl.