Tag Archives: Enfield

Cathouse Spares/For Lease – Enfield, NSW

Damn, Jenny’s left boob exploded, Cyndi’s on her last legs and John reckons Nautica needs a complete lube job. Where will I get spares for my cathouse?

In reality, Cathouse Spares was a specialist spare parts shop for Jaguars….in Enfield. It’s much more of a Maserati area, so no wonder things didn’t work out. It’s since moved to Rydalmere, leaving this building empty and awaiting its next trick. C’mon madams, you couldn’t ask for a more perfect location!

Enfield RSL Club/IJK Computers – Enfield, NSW

IJK Computers have the right idea. By replacing Enfield RSL with a computer shop, they’ve guaranteed that oldsters looking for the former establishment won’t dare to come inside. It’s like replacing McDonald’s with a gym. Confusing matters is the Christian City Church, which also resides inside (or C3 to their friends, as per their mind-blowing website).

In what seems like surefire talkback radio fodder, even the memorial fountain outside has been removed, and the old RSL sign repurposed as a canvas for IJK’s striking logo. How did Alan Jones not stop this crime against Australia? As wars are fought less frequently and pokies tighten their stranglehold on clubs and pubs, we have to face the reality of a diminishing need for RSL clubs. Who knows, one day IJK may have replaced RSL as a familiar acronym.

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…

Homestead Golden Chicken/Chicken Express/Laytani Cafe – Enfield, NSW

The owners of the Laytani Cafe in Enfield informed me that before they moved in three years ago, this address was a Chicken Express. I’m sure it was, but it was definitely another Homestead Chicken location as well. How can I be so sure?

The driveway retains the green paint scheme used by both Chicken Express and Homestead Chicken, so I’ll admit it’s not the most definitive evidence…but this is:

SMH, Oct 4 1973.

Savoy Cinema/Quality House/Whitewood Warehouse/Poliak Building Supply Co. – Enfield, NSW

On the Hume Highway, Enfield stands this bright orange eyecatcher. According to Strathfield Heritage, the Savoy opened as the Enfield Cinema in 1927, but was redesigned in Art Deco style in 1938.

Enfield Savoy, 1938. Image from Strathfield Heritage.

Enfield Savoy interior furnishings, 2012.

At this point it was renamed the Savoy, and reopened to the public. In 1944 it was bought by Hoyts, but was closed as a cinema in 1960. The last film shown was Some Like It Hot.

Enfield Savoy entrance, 2012.

Julian Tertini was working as a public servant in the mid-1970s when he quit his job and started a furniture company with no prior business experience. That company was Whitewood Warehouse. By 2012, the Savoy has stood as the cartoon bear-sporting Whitewood Warehouse longer than it did as a cinema.

Tertini went on to start both Fantastic and Freedom Furniture, and is one of Australia’s richest people. The Savoy/Whitewood building is now home to Poliak Building Supplies. The foyer is a showroom for ovens and hot water systems, because some still like it hot.

QUALITY UPDATE: Thanks to reader Phil, Past/Lives can now reveal the hitherto unknown second phase of this building’s life! After the cinema’s 1960 closure, it began its long life as a furniture warehouse under the name of Quality House. Now there’s a name you can trust:

Quality House advertisement, June 27 1965

Quality House advertisement, June 27 1965