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Wild Cherry Cafe


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#1 green guy

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:03 PM

This one is for older Melbournians but visitors might recall it.
It might be a stab in the dark because there might not be anyone who remembers it.
It was a cafe in Collins street down a kind of arcade. The waitresses were generally mature ladies in crisp clean uniforms. It was not so much a posh establishment but it had a charm long gone. It was also even for its time very reasonably priced.
The Wild Cherry was a kind of institution in Melbourne. The kind of menu you don't see today. Items like roast lamb with mint sauce, meat pies served with gravy real mashed potato and peas. The waitresses would come to your table and ask if you wanted tartar sauce with your fish. The salads were the kind our mums made, it had everything.
Desserts were wine trifle, apple pie etc.
As you left you paid this charming old effeminate man who sat on a huge podium behind his desk and old cash register. I was a much more handsome young man in those days and he would always smile saying "do come again sir, its always lovely to see you".
The wild cherry also gave work to actresses, chorus ladies who were wating for the next offer from JCW.
Obviouslyno wine list at the Cherry it was always a pot of tea. No tea bags!!! Hot water, little jug of milk.
Oh how I miss it.
I bet there were similar places in your state but wondered if any one else remembers this quaint gorgeous place.
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#2 glen

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 09:30 PM

Must have been before my time!!! Though sounds nice!!!
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#3 MelbourneStaycation.com

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 11:19 PM

Hi Green Guy, I don't know of the Wild Cherry, but I enjoyed your description - and wished I had visited it. Have you been to the Hopetoun Tea Rooms at the Collins Street end of the Block Arcade? Also a very old Melbourne institution - no chorus girls but a good pot of tea and dainty sandwiches. And green Florentine style wallpaper!
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#4 Marie8

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 02:15 PM

I've been to Wild Cherry a few times before and had the all day breakfast for the first time today. It's perhaps a little pricey at 6.25 but the rest of the full cafe would seem to disagree with me. It was pretty good overall, and the mushrooms were seriously fabulous. The portions were of a good size. Only niggle is that it was -2 outside and not warm enough indoors despite all the people.

Service is generally ok though one time I had a horribly sore throat and the staff really did their best to rustle me up something I could eat. Result was the most divine scrambled eggs I have ever had.


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#5 green guy

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:57 AM

Yes Melbournestaycation the tearooms the Hopetoun tearooms are very similar although the Wild Cherry was much larger. I adore the Hopetoun and always have those famous pin wheel sandwiches.
Marie8 where is the Wild Cherry that you are describing.
Thank you both very much for responding.
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#6 greg64

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:36 PM

Hello the wild cherry cafe was at 163 Collins street Melbourne I work there from 1980-1985 when it closed The owner Jim Webster had no choice there was no lease on the cafe and they were going to pull the building down The cafe opened in 1926 by the Hoffman sisters and it had about 4 owners in its time it was oppisite Georges in Collins Street One of the Ladies who worked there was there for 35 years it had a lot od regulars some 5 times a week for dinner and lunch I was a waiter there then become the chef it started my work life off for me It was good value for money and great service many friends met there for luch the ladies with hats gloves and well dressed men in there suits I was there untill the doors closed which was a very sad day The T&G owned the building which was called Charters House The Mayfair Cinema was next door as well another cafe called Migrays and the Milkyway and dont forget the Regent was near by and Jims wife Loris Webster saved the Regent from being pulled down and loris also had her own cafe Churinga in the Dandenong

Greg Lang
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#7 green guy

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 05:00 PM

Oh Greg thank you so much.
You should be very proud as the food and service at the Wild Cherry was wonderful and the place has a very special place in my heart.
Who was the dear man who took the money? I often saw him at the theatre!
I dont come to this site very often mainly because I presume left voters are not very welcome here but I liked your comments very much.
A huge thank you.
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#8 glen

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 05:14 PM

Hey green guy ...that is not true. We only have one LOUD right wing guy! There is another 4,227 members to chat with that are not LOUD LOUD LOUD! hahhaha. I think he might catch on if I say LOUD once more!

Have a good one, Glen
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#9 green guy

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 06:33 PM

OK Glen ...I retract that its just he seems to dominate at times.
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#10 Jayesse

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 09:11 AM

Green Guy & others,
My father bought the Wild Cherry in 1967, until its closure. I worked with him from 1978, cooking copious amounts of Roast Lamb, apple pies, steamed puddings, lambs fry & bacon etc. The effeminate gentleman you referred to was Donnie McLoud. He was an old school chum of my mother. The had gone to school in Essendon. The reason the cafe closed was due to the T & G. They owned the building & for the last 3 years we were there, they refused to renew our lease passed 1 year, so we had to close.
The Cherry had an interesting history. It was, allegedly, started by two sisters from the Dandenong Ranges. The second owners were my late God Mother & her husband, Ernie & Audrey Ruddick.
Third owner was Sydney Talbot. My father James Webster & his business partner Bill Ruddick (son of Ernie & stepson of Audrey) purchased it & subsequently, dad bought Bill"s share.
My mother was co-owner of Churinga Restaurant in the Dandenong Ranges, opposite the William Ricketts Sanctuary. She was also the President of the Save the Regent Theatre group, who were ultimately victorious.
I can't tell you how chuffed I am to find that people still remember the Cherry. I oftened thought I should write a book on the place. We had some very interesting & 'original' regular customers. Many were single people who had lost loved ones in WWII, worked in the city & generally lived alone.
My Father died about 6 years ago, & I still miss him every day.
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#11 PZ.

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 06:46 AM

Is this in the T & G building on the corner of Collins and Russell street? It was voted as the most beautiful building prior to a make over quite recently if I remember correctly. Next door to it downhill there's an old art deco building with circular balconies which still stands today. In this pic you can see Wild Cherry on the right.

 

16711938_1761470917515456_63865851693245


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#12 PeterJMelb

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 01:08 PM

Ah PZ.
The Paris end of Collins St.!
It had a certain charm that made Melbourne THE city.
Well done finding that photo.
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#13 green guy

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 12:51 PM

How lovely to see these reflection including that wonderful pic of the wonderful wild cherry. Newbie your dad boughtit!!! Wonderful.

I think that was pretty much my time. Oh how I miss it. To everyone thank you. May be more to follow.


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#14 PeterJMelb

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 12:13 PM

For GG.

A couple of old Paris End photos.

IMG_3175.JPG

IMG_3174.JPG
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#15 green guy

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:29 AM

LOve the hats!!

 

Great pics. Thank you


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#16 PeterJMelb

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:17 PM

Hi GG.
I just googled Paris end photos.
There will be more pics available.
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#17 sahamsan

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 04:03 PM

HI i just came to Melbourne a few days ago. I will be here may be fora couple of months. I am a keen badminton fan and player. I am staying in Lara now. Looking for badminton clubs near Lara for recreation. Can anyone advice me.

 

Thank You


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#18 PeterJMelb

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 11:04 AM

There is badminton in Geelong.
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