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Cafes, Shops & Cinemas / Bambakarathika

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Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Angela Anderson on 30.12.2007

Blue Bird Cafe - Innisfail - North Queensland - Australia.

Kytherians Jack P. Vamvakaris, (dec.) (IOANIS P.BAMBAKARIS) with his cousins Peter Kipriotis, (dec.) Nick Kipriotis, (dec.) and Jack Kipriotis (dec.) (3 brothers), owned the Blue Bird Cafe in Innisfail from 1928- to the 1970's.
Although the Innisfail building still stands it is no longer a cafe, but boasts part of Art Deco Architectural Construction in the Tropics . Innisfail Inc was set up to promote, conserve and celebrate the Architectural Heritage of Innisfail and the surrounding townships of North Queensland.

In its days the Innisfail Blue Bird Cafe was the hub of all the Greeks in the area, and to the seasonal migration of Cane Cutters by the thousands every year. (Prior to Mechanical Harvesters)
Local Population fluctuated from 7,000 to 15,000 in this few months every year.
• As a child I remember Greek Business Men popping in for a Morning Coffee with the Greek Priest lobbying for additional community services to serve His Parishioners better.
Every Kytherian Traveller was welcomed and made a fuss of.

The Café Building originally consisted of 4 levels.
1. In the Basement was a Bakery.
• The Cafe boasted a Bakery with fresh breads, cakes, pastries, and pies made daily. Wedding Cakes were an all-time Classic.
2. The Café was street level and must have seated 100 people.
• Orange & Lemon juices were traditional, and Ice-creams were articulated to perfection in flavour, texture and chill.
The menu included steaks, mixed grills, toasted sandwich, and where buttered fat toast was cooked on wood fire ovens.
3. The Ballroom / Function Hall where Formal & Contemporary Functions were held.
• All catering was handled on the premises.
4. The Roof top was originally designed for Alfresco Dining, but because Innisfail being the wettest town in Australia plans had to change on that issue and a roof was built over the top.