1960s

1968 Australia’s first restaurant guide

Graham Kerr published Australia's first restaurant guide“Galloping Gourmet” and television chef Graham Kerr published Graham Kerr’s Guide to Good Eating in Sydney – Australia’s first restaurant guide. This was followed, in the same year, by Graham Kerr’s Guide to Good Eating in Melbourne. More

1969 Beginnings of nouvelle cuisine

Nouvelle Cuisine cook bookSaid to have been born on the first Concorde flight out of Paris, this new and lighter approach to French cooking is largely attributed to famous French chef Paul Bocuse. Nouvelle cuisine rejected rich sauces and put great emphasis on the appearance of the food on the plate. Australians embraced this style during the late ‘70s but it is remembered by many for an overuse of kiwi fruit and tamarillo.

1969 First Australian Kmart store

First Kmart store Image: Museum of VictoriaThe first Kmart store was a joint venture between Coles and the S.S. Kresge Company, which operated Kmart in the USA . Kmart combined a supermarket with a discount department store. When the first store opened in Burwood, east of Melbourne, an estimated 40,000 people passed through the checkouts on the first day.

1969 First microwave oven imported

Early microwave oven -Radarange, 1967The first commercial microwave oven, Raytheon’s Radarange,  was invented in the USA in the late 1940s. Domestic models began to sell in Japan in 1966 and in the US in 1967. The first imports to Australia were used mainly in take-away food outlets, but by 1980 around 150,000 households had a microwave, with penetration reaching 50 per cent by 1989 and around 77% by December 1995.

1969 Queen Victoria market becomes retail only

Queen Victoria Market's whole sale operation moved to FootscrayIn 1969, the wholesale operations of the Queen Victoria market moved to new premises at Footscray. In part, this was an attempt to distance the criminal activities that had been associated with the fruit and vegetable trade from the general public. A history trail at the Queen Vic market documents some of this dubious history.

1969 Self-service dominates grocery sales

By this time, 70% of Victorian metropolitan grocery sales were self-service. Confectionery and milk, previously available through milk bars and mixed businesses, now began to appear in supermarkets. The milk was packaged in disposable cartons rather than bottles.

1969 Final Tarax Show.

Princess Panda on the Tarax Show

Princess Panda

Soft drink company Tarax was one of the first brands to use television, sponsoring a children’s program, Tarax Happy Show, that first went to air in January 1957. At first called The Happy Show  after its host, Happy Hammond, it subsequently became The Tarax Happy Show. After Happy Hammond left the show it was renamed The Tarax Show,  and was hosted by Geoff Corke (Corky King of the Kids) and later Norman Swain (Uncle Norman) with Panda Lisner (Princess Panda).

1968 Subway emerges in Connecticut

Early Subway storeFred de Luca opened his first sandwich shop, called ‘Pete’s Super Submarines’ in Bridgeport Connecticut in 1965. He opened several stores, changing the name to Subway in 1968, and in 1974 began a franchise operation. By 1983 the chain was ranked #1 in the sandwich business, expanding overseas for the first time in 1984. The first Australian Subway opened in Perth in June 1988. By 2002 Subway had  more outlets worldwide than McDonald’s.

1968 First Margaret Fulton cookbook

Margaret Fulton cookbookCookery writer Margaret Fulton‘s first cookbook, published by Paul Hamlyn in 1968, sold over a million copies.  It was reprinted in 1969 and further editions were published in 1976, 1980, 1991, 1998, 2004 and 2006. The classic 1968 edition was reissued in 2010 revised, updated and with new photography. Margaret Fulton has published many other cookbooks, earning her a place in almost every Australian kitchen.

1968 Tasmania’s first licensed restaurant

wine-glassUntil the 1960s, if you wanted to wine and dine in Tasmania your options were restricted. There were fancy meals in first-class hotels such as the Wrest Point Riviera in the south or the Launceston Hotel in the north, or basic counter meals in pubs. Pressure from the industry brought about changes to licensing laws. The first fully licensed restaurant was the Martini in Burnie. More

1968 Courage Beer launched

Courage beerCourage Beer attempted to break the stranglehold Carlton and United had on the beer market in Victoria with its launch on Thursday 10 October, 1968. Despite introducing a range of brands and an eventual take-over by Tooths in 1978, Courage was unsuccessful. This was in large part because of the system of ‘tied pubs’ which meant CUB controlled much of the distribution chain.

1968 Kentucky Fried Chicken in Australia

Kentucky Fried ChickenThe first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet opened in Guildford in Sydney’s western suburbs on 27th April 1968, with a staff of 25. It was opened by a Canadian named Bob Lapointe  and started the fast food revolution in Australia. The line at launch was “finger-lickin’ good”.

More

1967 Improved wine cask with tap

Improved wine caskPenfolds Wines patented an improved wine cask they called the ‘Tablecask’, designed like a barrel lying on its side, with a plastic, air-tight tap. Unfortunately, the tap leaked, and the product was soon abandoned. Wynn’s perfected the wine cask in 1970, with a tap that was exposed by tearing away a panel on the front of the box. The new design offered extra convenience for drinkers and “chateau cardboard” helped to make wine an everyday drink.  Orlando’s Coolabah  wine cask, launched in 1973,  became famous with the advertising campaign “Where do you hide your Coolabah?”

 

1967 Taco Bill founded

Taco Bill logoMexican food was a new experience for most Australians when the founder of Taco Bill, Bill Chilcote, arrived in Australia from the California/Mexico border in 1967. His first Taco Bill outlet was located on the Gold Coast and offered take-away food.  The chain is now a franchise operation with 34 stores in Victoria and one in New South Wales.

More

1967 Sydney’s first Lebanese restaurant

Sydney's first Lebanese restaurant - Lebanese flagThe first Lebanese restaurant in Sydney was founded by the Mrough brothers in 1967 in Pitt Street, Redfern. Oddly, it was named Wilsons. Wilson was the first name of one of the brothers, who had been named after US President Woodrow Wilson.

The restaurant is still operating, and the current manager is a relative of the Mrough family, who later opened restaurants in Cleveland Street and Randwick .

1966 GLAD® Wrap introduced

Glad WrapIn 1966 the GLAD® brand was born in Australia with the launch of  ‘the amazing new plastic GLAD® Wrap, a totally new concept for storing food’. The plastic wrap market in Australia is now valued at $51 million with nine out of ten Australian households purchasing some kind of plastic wrap and the GLAD® brand is a market leader with 53% value share.

1966 Australia’s first food magazines

Epicurean - one of Australia's first food magazines

Cover by Les Mason

In 1966, both Epicurean and Australian Gourmet  food magazines were  founded. Epicurean was the first Australian magazine devoted entirely to food and wine. It was the official magazine of the Wine and Food Society of Australia and its contributors included Len Evans, Dan Murphy, Mietta O’Donnell, Tony Bilson and Terry Durack. The art direction by Les Mason was dramatic. Australian Gourmet, now Gourmet Traveller, counted Margaret Fulton among its early contributors.

More

1965 Wine cask invented

The wine cask  or ‘bag in a box’ was invented by Tom Angove of Angove’s in Renmark, South Australia. The plastic bag inside the cardboard carton held 1 gallon, or 4.5 litres. His wine cask design was flawed as you needed to cut the corner off the bag, pour out the wine, then re-seal the bag with a peg. It was fiddly and potentially messy.

1965 First kebabs in Sydney

According to the company history of Uncle Tony’s Kebabs, the first kebabs were introduced in Sydney by Lebanese immigrant Tony Khater in 1965. His recipe was passed on to his nephew, Bill Mansour who, with his wife Rita, opened their Queensland business in 1983. Meanwhile, in 1979, Ali Baba had opened their first restaurant in Canberra. Ali Baba acquired Uncle Tony’s Kebabs in 2007. More

1965 Introduction of the BYO licence

BYO licenceThe BYO boom in Victoria started slowly, but gathered momentum year on year, really hitting its stride in the early ‘70s. Being able to take your own liquor to restaurants suddenly made dining out a lot more affordable. And while the BYO licence arguably also meant that a lot of people opened restaurants who shouldn’t have, there’s no arguing with Stephen Downes’ assertion (in Advanced Australia Fare) that it led to the development of a “middle rank of restaurants of amazing diversity, quality and value for money”.

1964 The Big Banana

Big BananaClaiming to be the first and most famous of Australia’s “Big Things” (although it was actually pipped by the Big Scotsman in Adelaide) the Big Banana was commissioned by John Landi to attract people to his roadside banana stall at Coffs Harbour, NSW. Over the years, the attraction has had mixed fortunes, but is now the centrepiece of an amusement park.

More

1963 Tim Tams launched

Tim TamsArnott’s  launched Tim Tams , a new chocolate-covered biscuit based on a British product called Penguin. They were named after a horse that won the Kentucky Derby in 1958, by Ross Arnott, who had attended the race and fancied the name.

1963 First NSW retail grocery group

Supa Valu - first retail grocery group

The Davids wholesale operation put together the first professionally organised voluntary retail grocery group in NSW. It involved Supa Valu and Foodland, and introduced the first retail services program for independent retailers.

1963 Safeway arrives in Victoria

Safeway logoThe American supermarket company purchased three Pratt’s supermarkets in Victoria and launched the Safeway brand. The first was on the site of a successful Pratt’s Supermarket (with rooftop parking) in Frankston, Victoria. In 1985, by which time the chain had grown to 126 supermarkets, Safeway was acquired by Woolworths.

1962 New Year’s Eve at the Rex Hotel, Bondi

Rex Hotel New Year's Eve Menu 1962The special New Years’s Eve menu at the Rex Hotel offered Oysters Naturelle or Fruit Cocktail followed by Sole Bonne Femme, half a Spring Roast Chicken with vegetables in season, Tropical Fruit Salad and Ice Cream, Assorted Cheese and Coffee.

1962 Christmas menu at Hotel Astra, Bondi

Christmas menu at the Astra Hotel, Bondi, 1962The multi-course Christmas menu at the Hotel Astra, Bondi, offered such choices as Oysters Natural au Citron, Consomme Royale, Fillet of Sole Bonne Femme and Roast Muscovy Duckling à l’Orange. Accompanied by Chablis, Hock, Burgundy or Claret.

1962 Southern Cross Hotel opens in Melbourne

Southern Cross Hotel MelbourneThe American-style Southern Cross Hotel was the first luxury hotel in Melbourne to depart from the traditional style of hotels like the Hotel Windsor. Part of the American Intercontinental hotel chain, it had vivid interior tiling decor, 17-second room service response time, shop, an American-style Grill Room and Melbourne’s first tenpin bowling alley. It hosted  the Beatles in 1964, but closed in 1995 and was demolished in 1997.

1962 (?) Streets Splice launched

Pine-Lime SpliceActually, the Streets people themselves don’t know when this iconic Aussie ice cream was launched. They say it was “sometime in the 1950s”. But the trade mark was registered in August 1961, so 1962 (which is the date Wikipedia gives) seems likely. The original version was Lime Splice, with Raspberry Splice following in 1963. More

1962 Golden Arches ™ becomes McDonalds’ logo.

McDonald's golden archesGolden arches were part of the original McDonald’s restaurant design. They were incorporated into the chain’s logo, which resembled a stylised restaurant, in 1962. The current Golden Arches logo, introduced 1968, resembles an “M” for “McDonald’s”.

1962 Ring pull can introduced in USA

Tab from ring pull canThe ring pull can was invented by Ermal Cleon “Ernie” Fraze of Dayton, Ohio, in 1959.  It was first put to the test by Iron City Brewing in Pittsburg in 1962 and soon became widely used for beer and soft drinks. The original ring pull detached from the can and caused litter. To solve this problem, Fraze invented the first push-in, fold-back tab which was patented in 1977.

1962 Coles New World name is launched

Coles New WorldColes launched “A new world of shopping”  with the opening of the first Coles New World   Supermarket in Frankston, Victoria. This was a new concept in food retailing in Australia, with groceries, fresh meat, fruit and vegetables, dairy goods, produce and frozen foods all within one store. >Coles Myer Facts

1961 The first Tupperware party in Australia

Tupperware partyEarl Silas Tupper introduced the range of plastic containers in the USA in 1946. Their trademark was the distinctive “burping” seal. In the early 1950s the Tupperware  party became the unique marketing method. The first Australian Tupperware party was held by Mary Paton in her mother’s home in Camberwell, Melbourne. Mary’s sister Ruth became the first Australian Demonstrator.

1961 Toto’s Pizzeria opens in Carlton

Toto's Pizzeria signToto’s claims to be the first pizzeria in Australia, but this is not the case. Lucia’s Pizza Bar, in Adelaide’s Central Market, opened four years earlier. Toto’s may well have been the first in Melbourne,  opening on 7 July 1961 in Lygon Street, Carlton. Salvatore Della Bruna operated the business in partnership with Franco Fera and, from 1968, with Silvio Tuli and Salvatore Mercogliano. The pizzas were, and remain, Italian-style (no Tandoori chicken pizzas here!)

1960 Restaurant licence introduced in Victoria

Mora's Balzac held the first restaurant licence

Georges Mora by Charles Blackman

The new licence allowed alcohol to be served with food. Formerly only hotels, registered clubs and wine saloons could legally serve alcohol, even with meals. Balzac restaurant held the first restaurant licence in Victoria, allowing alcohol to be served with meals until 10 p.m. Balzac, which operated between 1958 and 2001, was started by George and Mirka Mora who sold it in late 1970s to Leon Massoni. In the 60s, new licensed restaurants began to open in Melbourne.

1960 Margaret Fulton joins Woman’s Day

Margaret Fulton autobiographyMargaret Fulton, then working at advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, joined the weekly women’s magazine Woman’s Day as food editor and began to introduce Australians to a wider world of cookery. She remained at Woman’s Day for 19 years, before moving to the Murdoch-owned New Idea.  She was to become Australia’s leading cooking pundit, being awarded an OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) in 1983 and named an Australian Living National Treasure by the National Trust. Margaret Fulton published her autobiography in 1999.

1960 Fanny’s restaurant opens

Gloria Staley at Fanny'sFanny’s was opened by Gloria and Blyth Staley in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, on the site of a Greek café. It eventually closed in 1983.  It was a classic, formal, European restaurant beloved by Melbourne’s upper crust. Gloria Staley, though not a chef, devised the menus. Fanny’s was influential and many of the waiters and chefs went on to make their mark in other restaurants.

1960 Myer’s Chadstone Shopping Centre opens

Chadstone Shopping CentreIn 1960, Myer completed the Chadstone Shopping Centre 12  kilometres from the centre of Melbourne.  “Chaddy”, as it soon came to be called, was the first self-contained regional shopping centre in Melbourne, and the largest in Australia at the time. The opening on 4 October 1960 was televised and the advertising offered 45-degree angled parking spaces to make shopping ‘easier’ for women who could not manage reverse parking.>eMelbourne

1960 First Woolworths supermarket

Woolworths-logo-1960The first Woolworths supermarket was opened at Warrawong in New South Wales in May 1960. It offered a range of variety goods and food, with adjacent parking space. The same year, Woolworths made their first move into liquor, when they purchased a store at Leederville, WA, which had a liquor licence.  Further licenses were acquired and consolidated into one trading unit in 1984.