Good friends over at Mixed Business got a write up in The Age today which is great news for them. What's even more interesting is the use of suburban history that Matt bloody Preston uses to set the scene.
Growing up far from Melbourne's leafy suburbs, a milk bar was somewhere Alex and his Droogs went to knock back drug-laced moo juice in A Clockwork Orange. The corner shops or mixed businesses trading in milk and double-barrelled packs of Winnie Blues I found here were rather less exciting. Or they were, until Melbourne cafe-nistas started taking them over to create cafe latte-cum-sausage-roll dens.... Mixed Business is a million miles away from the electric-tea-urn/marge-buttered-Tip-Top establishment where those signs once lived.
As a boy, Alan Cohen collected bread, pies and cakes from nearby bakeries and delivered them by bike to his parent's milk bar. It was the unofficial school tuckshop – a place where 'good' children were rewarded with a handful of boiled sweets from the big tin behind the counter.The milk bar was opened in 1939 in Rathdowne Street, Carlton, by Elizabeth and Henry Cohen. They were born in Australia, descended from Jewish immigrants from Europe.For Elizabeth, the milk bar was as much about social life as a money-spinner – crowded on school days and after Sunday dances at the local hall.The Cohens saw the neighbourhood change. Carlton's Jewish community was moving out to the middle suburbs, to be replaced by immigrants from Italy and Greece. Then students and professionals moved in. Shopping trends shifted too: supermarkets multiplied, schools ran their own tuckshops. The milk bar closed in 1975