On this day, 4th November 1932, Australia’s first milk bar...

On this day, 4th November 1932, Australia’s first milk bar was opened.

A milk bar in Australia is a small, local general store, also known as a corner store in some places. In addition to selling basic groceries and newspapers, early milk bars offered milkshakes, lollies and drinks.

Australia’s first milk bar was opened in Martin Place, Sydney, on 4th November 1932. Called the Black and White 4d Milk Bar, it was established by Greek migrant Joachim Tavlaridis who later adopted the name “Mick Adams”.

This milk bar was famous for its milkshakes and for its mechanical cow. Unlike contemporary businesses with table service, it featured a bar counter with limited seats on one side and milkshake makers and soda pumps on the other, showing an American influence. The success of the business had a strong influence in making the term “milk bar” known throughout Australia, and even the United Kingdom.

These photographs from the Hood collection at the State Library of New South Wales, depict floats at the Eight Hour Day procession, advertising the Black and White milk bar, in the 1930s.