The legendary Cane Bazaar at Beverly Hills. For years it’s seemed like the suburb was built around this behemoth – it’s a staple. But now there are rumblings, and it appears like the Bazaar is about to enter the next phase of its existence, about to take its first steps without a cane.
The recent alterations to the shopfront have exposed what appear to be two distinct structures beneath the Cane Bazaar facade (facaad?). Perhaps long before even its supermarket days, this was indeed two separate shops along King Georges Road. Reader Vivien has pointed out that this was in fact the site of Woolworths’ first self-service variety supermarket in 1955:
Look at that crowd! And you thought today’s self-service checkouts were mayhem. Later, it became a Jewel supermarket (remember those?) before the populace decided cane was in.
But back to this facade. Can I draw your attention for one moment to the boasts of lay-by and delivery services? First of all, it’s cane furniture, so it’s not exactly gonna break the bank. Second, it’s cane furniture, so it’s light as. They could have delivered their wares on bicycles. Also, I was unaware of this, but Bankcard has been discontinued since 2006. Pretty sure it outlived the Cane Bazaar, though.
The Cane Bazaar and its very cluttered signage has been at this location for half a life-time, probably in excess of 35 years. Prior to that it was Woolworths first self service store which opened to much fanfare on October 6, 1955. If you click along the time-line on this Woolworths document to 1955 you’ll actually see a wonderful photo of the store’s opening day – http://www.woolworthslimited.com.au/page/Who_We_Are/The_Woolworths_Story/How_We_Were_Founded/
Note the misspelling of Beverly Hills on Woolies’ own website. They’ve done it again here as well – http://www.woolworths.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/website/woolworths/about+us/our-story/beverley+hills+1955. Good old “Beverley Hills” 🙂
Wow, thanks very much Vivien! I’ll update the entry to include this bit of info (and that picture heh heh).
It’s a pleasure Wayne. I’m glad that I could be of assistance!
I think we must have shopped mainly at Franklins, despite the fact that Dad reckoned it was a ‘fire trap’
I grew up in that store. My family owned Cane Bazaar.
30 years of good memories when Beverly Hills was a normal suburb.
Next to us was Franklins. On the other side of us was ANZ. Its hard to remember back 30 years but I remember the centre at any one time having banks (including ANZ, CBA & Westpac), 2 or 3 Hardware stores, 2 or 3 Butchers, 2 or 3 Fruit shops, Cake shops, Mad Barrys, 2 newsagents, the single old St James Cinema, Hertzburgs, Florist with large garden at rear, 3 Chemists, 2 Petrol Stations a toy shop, clothing stores (Margaret Pearl), a paint store, doctors, a Vet, a Pub, a TAB, a choice of bottleshops, (even a drive thru bottlo), a motorcycle shop, a pool hall, Pizzahut, a pinball parlour, BBQ store and a Carpet Store
Of course there was us and A FEW restaurants.
Everything was there in that Suburb. You didn’t have to leave, you didn’t even need to drive.
The downfall of the centre was Westfields Hurstville opening. Franklins including its staff located to that store. Slowly each store seemed to close and a Restaurant would replace it.
I sometimes wonder if all the units that were built too late behind the strip would have saved Beverly Hills Shopping Centre?
Now its a great Nightspot and should be promoted more as a nightspot. It has almost every kind of Cuisine and the Cinemas.
That’s certainly a Beverly Hills I’d like to see. Where was the pinball parlour?
The pinball/ Video arcade was opposite the cinemas in that row of shops or of course there was also the Pool hall upstairs from where the IGA is now. Downstairs (IGA) was a Motorcycle store.
Two more for you if you don’t mind, Jason: firstly, where was Mad Barrys, and second, what was there before the Pizza Hut?
The Mad Barrys was on the old Hertzberg site, next to the Bonfire/ Vaby’s site. I don’t remember pre Pizza Hut. When was the Pizza Hut opened? We were in Beverly Hills from the mid 70’s. Used to do Thursday late night shopping and then close up and walk to Yens up near Edgebaston. Must have walked past the Pizza Hut site 100s of times but only ever remember the PizzaHut…
Pizza Hut opened in the early 70s so I think you probably missed the boat on that one. It’s mind boggling to imagine Thursday night shopping along the strip at Beverly Hills, especially these days. Hepburn Court isn’t exactly a go-to destination at any time of day, let alone Thursday nights.
Forgot to mention in my original post that there were 3 Video rental stores as well.
There was the one where the IGA is now, but where were the others?
There was one around the area of Rheindorf (Scorpion Video- I was a member) and another around the corner in Edgebaston Rd maybe next to the carpark there (or maybe the next shop along).
Thursday Nights were busy because of Franklins next door. We were in the middle of the Franklins, Butchers & Fruit Shops.
We later started going to the Four Seasons around in Stoney Creek Rd on Thursday nights. Raymond was the owner. Sham he closed down or sold out. He was such a friendly man.
Yens was owned by Janson. He drove a yellow Volvo with “Yen” personalised plates.
How about the big one on the corner of Stoney Creek and King Georges, opposite Bonfire? That’s been in a state of disrepair for a long time yet still manages to operate.
The ex Bamboo Gardens. Went there a few times. Then we heard a rumour and stopped going….
Thanks for your brilliant memories Jason. Do you remember that there was a record shop in Edgebaston Rd that later moved somewhere near your shop? What year did Cane Bazaar close? I haven’t been to Bevo for a few years and didn’t know there was an IGA. Where’s it located?
Hi Vivienne, your maiden name wasn’t Howard by any chance & you lived in Yoorami Rd Beverly hills
Hi Trish. I know that this reply is 6 years late however my maiden name wasn’t Howard. I never succumbed to the pressure to change my name on marriage and have always remained a Fleming. We lived in Millett Street Hurstville although geographically we were closer to Beverly Hills.
I might remember a record shop now you come to mention it. In the early days, maybe…
The IGA is in Tooronga Tce. Where The Motorbike shop, then Video store was, below the pool hall.
I remember my older brother discussing the same rumour re the old Bamboo Gardens. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire I guess. I was only a young child at the time, we’re probably talking mid to late 80’s.
I worked across the road from this place in the 80’s at a little film lab called Quickprint (now a pizza shop) which just happened to be the film processing lab for one Fletcher’s Fotographics ( I’m a FFFFFFFFletcher’s fotographic Fanatic). Also south of this cane bazaar was a little shop which was one of the first video shops around, this was back in the day when you had to leave a deposit for each video you hired! and it was always more for a Warner brothers film!
Scorpion video?? Bill was the guy’s name who owned it, I think.