Golden World Restaurant/Xinjiang Noodle House – Ashfield, NSW
If you’re planning on visiting Ashfield, wolfing down a Chinese meal and washing it down with an icy cold Coca-Cola, I’ve got some bad news for you: it won’t be a golden experience.
As you may remember, there was a time when things, particularly restaurants and take-away shops, went better with Coke.
John Pemberton’s miracle tonic was being poured wherever you’d see signs like this, usually with the tiny-lettered name of the venue pushed aside to make more room for that contoured logo – as if it needed any more exposure.
The thinking was that unless you advertised drinks were available, you’d alienate thirsty customers, or worse still, make them think you sold Pepsi.
I’m not sure how well Coke goes with the kind of unpretentious Chinese food Golden World would have sold. I do like the chutzpah of Golden World to name itself that, and then set up in the very un-golden world of Ashfield.
I also can’t help but feel for the person or persons living in that upstairs room back in the Golden years, with that bright red and white sign glowing outside their window all night. I hope you finally found peace, whoever you are.
Golden World’s deal with the sugar devil expired long ago, but odds are the brownest of the brown liquids is still sold at today’s Xinjiang Noodle House. They probably sell Coca-Cola, too.
And as for those panning for gold in Ashfield, get yourself up the street. Golden times await…
OK Restaurant/Master Kwon’s Pro Tae Kwon Do Academy – Enfield, NSW
The owners of Enfield’s OK Chinese Restaurant mustn’t have had much self confidence. C’mon guys, you could wine and dine there…surely it was better than just OK?
In a place like Enfield, where the competition ranges from good to great, being merely okay didn’t help the restaurant stay afloat. These days, all that remain are the neon signs which, in years gone by, would unintentionally act as the OK’s own private lighthouse, warning off hungry passers-by with the promise of an average eating experience.
There’s a silver lining, however: the businesses occupying OK’s space today have all learned the most important lesson of the OK saga. We have Mr. Viscontini Fine Italian Food, Master Kwon’s Pro Tae Kwon Do Academy and Big Clean cleaning supplies, all of which sound unusually empowered and boastful. If not for the OK’s sacrifice, we might today be looking at Viscontini Not Bad Italian Food, Master Kwon’s Intermediate Tae Kwon Do Academy and the Moderate Clean Supplies outlet.
Chinese Restaurant/Hyang Won Korean Restaurant/For Lease – Strathfield, NSW
By leaving the previous tenant’s neon ‘Chinese Restaurant’ sign up, this Korean restaurant hoped to bank on an underlying current of the ‘they all look alike’ mentality to put bums on seats. Perhaps it’s a good thing then that they’re no longer in business? In reality it looks like this restaurant was part of the ‘by the people, for the people’ trend that saw Chinese restaurants originally established to appeal to the more adventurous members of white Australian communities replaced with Korean restaurants designed to cater to the area’s blossoming Korean community…and it closed because apparently, the food sucked. Japanese next time?
Gateway Travel and Richardson & Wrench/Korean BBQ Restaurants – Strathfield, NSW
Strathfield’s The Boulevarde is now the scene of intense rivalry. Two culinary entrepreneurs were struck by idea lightning at the same time, and via a series of doubtlessly hilarious coincidences, have ended up with their Korean BBQ restaurants side by side. Fortunately, they were also both lazy enough to leave some traces of the buildings’ former occupants up for us to find.
Gateway Travel and ‘estate agents’ are both scintillating hints, but what if we could actually go back in time and see how they looked? Well, thanks to the outdated technology of Google Street View, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Buckle up, Marty:
And so we emerge in the distant past of 2009, a time when Gateway Travel and Richardson & Wrench ruled. Gateway looks like it had been there a long time, given the seven digit phone number at the top. The Zix & Co Real Estate sign suggests a time when two estate agents stood side by side, locked in bitter rivalry…not unlike today’s BBQ brothers. History is doomed to repeat itself.
One last curious feature of the Gateway building that gives us an insight into a past beyond even Google’s reach is this gargoyle:
Perhaps its fate as a BBQ restaurant was in the cards all along.