FJ’s Pizza/Construction Site – Kingsgrove, NSW
The powers-that-be have decided that Kingsgrove needs more residents, and you know what that means. HIGH RISE.
Now I know what you’re saying. You’re sitting there saying ‘Yeah, they’re building a high rise. So what? What’s so special about this place?’ What’s special about this site will require a bit of a cheat – taking the Google Street View time machine back to 2009 – but I promise it’ll be worth it.
See, what used to be at this location was a string of old, derelict shops, each more interesting than the last. Around the back, in Mashman Avenue, was a run-down block of units, and beside that, the Mashman Pottery (a resident since 1908). All of it is gone now, including the pottery, to make way for some faceless high rise apartment buildings completely devoid of character. This character:
We have the Cecille Salon, the Kingsgrove Snack Bar (best food in town!), and finally and most intriguingly, FJ’s Pizza. Take a closer look there at FJ’s…who’s that holding the pizza?
Could that be…what it looks like?
This place has been burned into my retinas for a long time, so when it was knocked down earlier this year, I wasn’t going to let it get out of appearing here. In fact, I remember when this place opened – in 1990. Someone, most likely FJ himself, thought they could get away with painting a Ninja Turtle on the side of their pizza place in the hope that kids would see it and automatically assume it was Turtle-endorsed pizza. Well…in at least one situation, they were right. Problem is, by 1992 the TMNT were has-beens, and people sure weren’t coming here for the pizza.
It’s hard to say exactly when these shops closed, and thanks to the animal magnetism of the FJTMNT, I never really paid them much attention even when they were open. With prime real estate right beside the train station, you’d think at least the snack bar would have cleaned up. Now, it’s just being cleaned up to make way for the glass tower.
Doubtless there’ll be a new wave of shops here beneath the skyscraper, but they won’t have this kind of character. The lineup also included what looks like a Chinese restaurant, Hair Enterprises, and a State Bank branch on the corner. I imagine that the Rich Uncle Pennybags style property developer sat it out for years, buying each of the shops in the strip until he had the Monopoly and then BAM – bulldozer time. Hair Enterprises was likely the last to go – it had an eight digit phone number.
It’s just a memory now, along with the best food in town, ladies knitwear, and the Ninja Turtle who never let go of that pizza. Vaya con Dios, FJ-tello.