Meet Me at the Paragon

State Library of Queensland

Meet me at the Paragon is a fascinating State Library of Queensland exhibition revealing the stories of Greek migrants who established cafes and milk bars in the early 1900's, carving out a new life for their families in Queensland, opening on September 27th.

Greek migrants first opened shops in Queensland over 100 years ago, with Greek cafés trading in most towns and regions across Queensland throughout the 20th century. 

These American-style establishments, which served banana splits, fish ‘n’ chips, ice cream sundaes and homemade sweets, became the social hub of their communities, the McDonald's of their day.

They were open all day every day, from early in the morning until late into the night. Meals were large, the food was cheap, and the menu was the same across the state, continually adapting to market changes and food trends.

Whether it was a big breakfast before work, lollies for the kids or a banana sundae as a special treat, everyone was welcome at the local Greek café.

Meet Me at the Paragon

In this free interactive exhibition, visitors can imagine the tastes, experience the atmosphere and retrace the history of Queensland’s Greek cafes by learning the past and present true stories of the families that ran them:

  • Step back in time as you slide into a replica café booth to browse the ‘menus’ of Greek cafés throughout Queensland and appreciate the architectural installation reminiscent of Kingaroy’s Busy Bee Café

  • Hear the ‘daily opera’ of coffee machines, the clatter of cutlery and the general café hubbub in a special soundscape

  • View photographic portraits of Greek café descendents and connect with their stories

  • See original items from cafés across Queensland including original café signs, anodised milkshake cups, monogrammed plates, menus and other memorabilia

  • Reflect on the stories of Greek migrants and how their cafés changed Australian dining and cuisine forever

Whether taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane, or getting a first glimpse into a long lost Queensland era, this is an exhibition not to be missed.

State Library of Queensland is a valued partner of Must Do

Meet Me at the Paragon

State Library of Queensland

Stanley Place

South Brisbane

Sep 27- Mar 15