Australia’s early restaurant scene

Early references to restaurants in Australian newspapers were only included in reports from Europe.  The word restaurant was more than not accompanied by an explanatory (eating-house).

From the 1840s, city restaurants began to be advertised.  Taverns transformed into ‘restaurants’ or included them in their premises.  Mr Gill in The Australian (1845) offered exotic food prepared by an “East Indian Cook”.  Mr Gregory (1856) covered all bases in his Argus advertisement of the Melbourne Hall of Commerce restaurant – from recherche, refined taste to more simple fare.

In 1861, George Hart advertised his Brisbane restaurant as the first in Queensland, having been “induced by the rapidly increasing population of Queensland to introduce [his] novel house of refreshment”.

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