Enfield Laundry/Mixed Business/Residential – Enfield, NSW

Yes, I know it’s another laundry, but shops like these need their due. Besides, this one put more effort into its appearance than did the last one, so its failure and eventual closure is that much more tragic.

Going by the font it’d have to be 60s-70s, and it seems to have had a seven digit phone number so it lasted awhile. Even more interesting is that underneath the colourful Enfield Laundry paint job, you can see that the site was once a produce and firewood store.

The Strathfield Council seems to have given up hope that the shop will ever be used again, and has put this bench across the door as a barricade. Presumably, this took place after council gave every single household in the vicinity their own washing machine.

I love that ‘ice cold’ font. It’s so effective. I can get a strong visual sense of just how ice cold those drinks will be, and how refreshing that temperature would be to me on a hot summer’s day. But you have to consider, the logic of the ice cold drinks font dictates that that fancy font for ‘continental’ was intended by the designer to be somehow indicative of the continental experience. Strangely, it works. Deli meat seems so much more worldly when it’s preceded by that font.

It appears that what happened here is during the mixed business boom of the late 80s-early 90s, what was once a sole deli saw in the ailing laundromat an opportunity to branch out, and seized it. The laundry was absorbed and the deli offered a literal mixed business experience to the people of Enfield. It probably even had a Street Fighter II machine. But when the boom died and Burwood Westfield was renovated, the only customers were those getting off the bus of an afternoon, and you can’t pay the rent with profits from a few ice cold cans and packets of chips. Strange that they didn’t remove the Enfield Laundry sign on the front window, though.

Incidentally, this shop sits along Coronation Parade, Enfield, which we’ll look at in the near future…

5 responses

  1. From memory it had a Wonder Boy machine but my friends and I never liked going there because the owners weren’t friendly. Off to AMF bowling on Liverpool Rd we would then go…

    1. Or the corner-shop at Burwood Rd / Ann Street … that one had Street Fighter II.

  2. I’ve seen those continental delicatessen+ice cold drinks fonts in so many places around Sydney, it’s as if they were compulsory.

  3. I took the extra few blocks to get this shop as they had ‘ comet’ chips. I loved the wooden counters. They had one of the machines where two people sat at each end. The owners were always nice to me yet I can never remember deli meats…or a laundry mat. The original bus seat was wooden..I think..spent many minutes that seemed liked hours waiting at that seat for the bus to Ashfield. Amazed now at how many guys would pull up and offer me a lift..today the police would be called…memories.

  4. These businesses were once quite prosperous, due to presence of the Enfield tram which terminated in Tangarra Street. Thats why there a shops here and in Tangarra Street. This site then became a bus depot when the trams stopped. From memory, the depot was sold and redeveloped into housing in the early 2000s. I think there is a plaque on the site. Strathfield Council are not responsible for the bench seat as this property is located in Burwood Council, Coronation Parade is the boundary between Strathfield and Burwood. The Laundry was formerly a dry cleaning business in the 1950s and 1960s and operated by my grandparents.

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