The Herald Sun declared this milk bar in Brunswick (a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria) “a sight unlikely to last much into the 21st century.”
But what is a milk bar? Those two words don’t go together. Perhaps a milk chocolate bar, like a satisfying Snickers (not fun-size please). But when I think of a bar (and I do, often), milk is not included. No dairy, no cream, no White Russians for me. Just the pints, ma’am. And maybe a whiskey sour. But certainly not a glass of milk.
Actually, the USA does have seven bakeries called milk bar, which its own website praises as “a culinary empire and lifestyle brand founded by award-winning pastry chef and masterchef judge christina tosi.” You see how they did that? They used lowercase on her name to balance out the pretentiousness of overpriced dessert. Bad grammar doesn’t fix the fact that a SIX INCH birthday cake is $50.50 online. Holy Mary mother of God, I saw an 8″ fresh fruit tart at Sprouts yesterday for $6.99. Now what’s the better deal? Sorry, it’s just that when I see terms like “lifestyle brand,” I throw up a little in my mouth.
But back to real milk bars. It’s actually quite simple. They were general stores/corner stores, where one could go to pick up groceries such as milk. They are being replaced by more modern convenience stores such as 7-11, and the ones that do exist serve mainly ice cream and milkshakes. Below is said to be the first recorded milk bar in Australia.
Englishman James Meadow Charles opened the first milk bar in 1930 as the “Lake View Milk Bar” at Bangalore, India. The concept spread to the UK, where it became a morally acceptable alternative to the pub–a place to get diabetes instead of alcohol poisoning. By 1936, over 1,000 milk bars had opened nationally. Sounds like a perfect place for teens to gather.
And this one is full of Australian brands of which I’ve never heard: Streets, Peter Jackson, Tarax?
He’s a cute little bugger, no?