The Rio

I went back in time today. About 50 years I think, possibly even 60.

It didn’t require a time machine. Just a bit of curiosity and free time.

You see, there’s an old milk bar in Summer Hill called The Rio.

It stands out like a sore thumb between all the trendy new cafes popping up.

Today I ventured in.

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When I stepped through the door a novelty alarm bell went off and just about scared the crap out of me.

This was followed by pained groans and shuffling out the back.

“Is everything okay?” I yelled. No response.

I started looking around and quickly realise this place is something special.

It is full of faded lino and dusty cardboard signs and I’m pretty sure nothing has been changed here since the 1960’s.

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Five minutes later, George emerges.

He shuffles out with his head down, carrying wilted flowers in an old plastic lolly jar.

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I ask for a chocolate bar and say I am new to the area.

With a cheeky grin, George says 50. He’s been here for 50 years.

He says the shop is open everyday until 10pm, but not Sundays.

“Do you go to church on Sundays?”

“Yes, I am Greek!”

We cover a lot of ground in the time it takes for him to get my change.

He tells me he hasn’t been back to Greece for years and now he has six grandchildren in Australia.

He offers me some flowers. But then forgets to give them to me, or I forget to take them.

Before I leave, he tells me to call him Georgie.

According to this article Georgie has just turned 91.

What a legend.

Next time, I think I will try a milkshake.

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2 thoughts on “The Rio

  1. fantastic! George and his milk bar are quiet legends. A slice of life in a time warp when things were far less complicated and people enjoyed a milkshake and didn’t carry on like half-baked pretentious idiots about the quality of coffee beans or how a barista “burnt” the milk in their latte. Give me one of George’s milkshakes any day!

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