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Alexandra Ermolaeff

The Canberra Café

Stratis Tzannes (left) and Cosmas Cassimatis (right) standing in front of the Canberra Café at 132 Oxford Street, in Darlinghurst, Sydney.

In the 1920’s Cosmas Cassimiatis set up a partnership of Kytherians whose families had all known each other well from Mesa Dimos (the southern part of Kythera). The partnership became known as Cassimatis & Co. Together they set up the Canberra Café at 132 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. The partners of the Canberra Café were: Cosmas Cassimatis, Stamatis Marcellos, Nikolas Travassaros, John Megalokonomos, and Stratis Tzannes. These partners were to become the longest continuing Kytherian partnership in Australia.

Originally the café was an oyster bar and then a fish restaurant. Around 1948 it was converted to a milk bar - which ran until the late 1980’s. The property was then leased out to Italians and became a pizzeria. It is now leased to the Court Hotel, but is still owned by the families of the original partners in equal shares, with the exception of Nikolas Travassaros who died in 1959 with no heirs and whose interest was purchased by the surviving partners.

During its heyday in the 1930’s many Kytherian events were held at the Canberra Café and it became an unofficial meeting place for Kytherians where projects of common interest were discussed and planned. One such was the setting up of the Holy Trinity Church (Ayia Triatha) on Bourke Street.

Family name: Tzannes
Village of origin: Livadi
Photo taken: Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney.
Date: circa 1930’s

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1 Comment

Katrina Wiggins
on 17.01.2023

Such a long time to find this article, but so happy to see it now. Stamatis Marcellos was my Grandfather. A good man, who had a soft heart for his grandchildren. I remember the smell of his cardigan still as he hugged me and took me for walks in his garden.