Saturday, July 26, 2014

Changing times

It wasn't always called Cafe Plateia. It had another name. I don't recall what. I think it was 1992 when we moved to Balaclava and started catching either the tram or the train to Prahran on Saturday mornings. Initially we brunched at Cafe 151 in Commercial Road, but later grew rather attached to the cafe in Pran Central. For the best part of twenty years we have been customers there.

Suddenly an Indian person began working in the cafe. Some weeks later, the Greeks have gone, so R tells me, and Indians have taken over.



Fen will remember the the place well enough. This is pure conjecture but Tim Zanios was the boss. His mother (Helen?) was the hostess with the mostest. Tim's brother and sister in law and father all worked there. I've seen them give food to the poor without charge. I have seen them pile up a take away container for an old person's evening meal. They were generous to their regular customers, including us. We will dearly miss them.


19 comments:

  1. Tim and his family sound like most excellent people. I hope, and assume, that they will do well where-ever they go.

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    1. EC, I wonder what they will do. Open another cafe two doors along and take their customers with them? It is usually not allowed by the sale documents.

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  2. Andrew, it place is very nice and has its own climate. I love it.

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    1. Yes Gosia, a relaxing place for our brunch.

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  3. A very similar story to the old style cafe on the corner at The Spot in Randwick across from the Randwick Ritz art deco cinema in Sydney.

    Staffed by people of Greek origin for years one day a new staff member of Asian origin appeared. Some weeks later the Greek origin staff were gone replaced entirely by Asian origin staff.

    They learnt well retaining the former menu, price structure and style. The only thing missing is that the service seems a little less friendly (not unfriendly, just a little less so).

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    1. Victor, maybe it will take time. Our brunch alternative at Prahran Market is Asian people and they are good. When he bring me my long black coffee, he presents it with, 'your decaf soy latte, Sir'.

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  4. It's always sad when you regular sells out or changes hands you get comfortable with some people and you are sad to see them go.
    Merle.........

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    1. Yes Merle. I am a creature of habit and embracing change doesn't come easily to me, but it is good for the soul.

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  5. It's nice when you get good service like that. Giving food to the poor, piling extra into the containers for the elderly. People such as those will be missed for sure. So how did the Indians work out, good service?

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    1. Don't know yet River. I haven't been there and I don't think R has either. Maybe next Saturday when I am not working. I'm sure the food will be fine, but things are different.

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  6. There are a lot of cities on this planet, but I am fairly confident that Melbourne has the best restaurants and cafes. Wine bars, however, may be better elsewhere.

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    1. Hels, I dunno. There are some pretty good cafes and service in Europe, so I discovered. But Melbourne coffee is best.

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  7. The most disturbing thing here Andrew is that you drink soy decaf .. In the city that claims the best coffee.. What's that all about :) :)

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    1. I don't drink muck like that Grace. It is his little joke, along with when he serves us egg, bacon, tomato, toast and orange juice, 'Sir, your toast and tomato, no egg, no bacon and orange cordial'.

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  8. NOOO!!!
    Oh Andrew, it just won't be the same, at all :(
    I've come over all sentimental now. I dearly loved that place and the staff. The food, oh it was wonderful, always made with love.

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    1. Funnily Fen, R was there today. The woman sitting on the next table nibbled at her pasta dish and pushed it away. Staff asked her if it was ok, she said it was dry, got up and left. The hairdresser in the quick haircut place also said Helen is 74 years old. Amazing.

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  9. I knew tim in the 90s when he had his own cafe in the city in flinders street, called lolita - he was always into film. Ran into him a few a weeks ago, said they eventually sold cos they got an offer too good to refuse, and his parents were getting on. He wants to open another cafe in the city, but hasn't found the right place yet.

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    1. Thanks for that information. I expect he is remembered well by all of his customers. He was generous to those in need too. He and his mother, with his father out the back made a terrific team. I'll be interested to learn of any new venture he opens.

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