Pizza Hut/Kiddiwinks – Warriewood, NSW

You’ll have to forgive the low-hanging fruit in this case, but when it’s been a while you need a rolling start to get back up to speed.

The $9.95 all-you-can-learn deal is a popular menu item.

There’s a certain ballsiness that comes with stepping into Pizza Hut’s red shingled shoes. By inhabiting such a familiar space, you’re inviting comparisons you’re (usually) unable to support. It doesn’t matter whether you’re burying people or educating them – if you’re doing it in an old Pizza Hut, prepare for scrutiny.

When Kiddiwinks, a Northern Beaches childcare centre, accepted the Used To Be A Pizza Hut challenge, it came armed with bold colours and fencing designed to dispel all notions of what had come before.

Kids gotta learn about pizza ovens sooner or later.

But what had come before? The Warriewood entertainment precinct had once included all the ingredients for a great (if not fatty) night out: Pizza Hut for dinner, a cinema for a show, a McDonald’s for the car park afterwards and a sewage treatment plant to mask the odour.

That was then. Pizza Hut was the first casualty, going the way of all Huts in the late 90s. By 2008, a dark time at the farthest ebb of all-you-can-eat nostalgia, Warriewood Pizza Hut sat empty and graffiti’d.

Too soon. Image courtesy Google Street View.

This was exactly the kind of visage that screamed potential to the folks at the Hog’s Breath Cafe, who proved a slightly uncomfortable fit into the ‘east coast lite’ feel of Pittwater Road.

Pictured: the whole hog. Worth waiting for, wasn’t it? Image courtesy Google Street View.

Out of breath by 2013, but with an eye-catching green mohawk, the site waited for its next denizen. It was a very long wait indeed; Kiddiwinks wouldn’t sign on the dotted line until 2019 – the furthest east the business has yet ventured.

Another first Kiddiwinks can add to the walls of its “Hampton-style interiors” is that it’s likely the first ever tenant to ever have a menu “approved by NSW Health to meet the recommended daily intake for children”. What a shame then that the kiddis are constantly staring at a burger joint all day long.

Out of the frying pan…

Meanwhile, McDonald’s prospered in the absence of competition. So confident is Ronald in this location’s viability that the bare minimum was done to pull the exterior into line with the boxy new Mickey D aesthetic. Going through the drive-thru (or so I’m told) is a journey past the green, angular and dare I say even Hut-like McDonald’s of old.

And perhaps that’s how it should be at a place like this. There needn’t be anything modern about a big block sitting on the curb of a busy arterial road promising flicks and a feed on a Friday night, and steady processing of post-ablutions the rest of the time. On some level even Kiddiwinks knows so, appropriating as it has the old Pizza Hut sign.

In case it’s not clear, Kiddiwinks is not drive-thru.

Strange bedfellows in every sense.

3 responses

  1. Great to see you back at it again! Top article.

  2. Great work as usual, Michael!

  3. Welcome back. And yes, no better way to re-enter the blogosphere than with a dead ‘Hut.

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