The '70s are back, complete with one-cent lollies, malted milkshakes and pinball machines. At least, they are in Mortdale, where the nostalgia-filled Milk Bar Cafe 2223 set up shop in July.
Owner Tony Fitzgerald has taken the '70s theme to extremes at his suburban cafe with vinyl seating, metal-legged tables and chequered flooring. Then there's the paraphernalia, from the Mouse Trap board game and Bex ad hanging on the wall, to the sign advertising Leberwurst sandwiches for 20 cents and the red pay phone. If you're looking for something to do, grab a newspaper out of the old-school delivery barrow or have a crack at the high score on the pinball machine.
And, yes — the one-cent lolly thing is for real. Line up at the counter with your coin purse, prop open your little white paper bag and grab as many bullets, cobbers, teeth, bananas or freckles as you can afford. There's complete freedom to pick and mix. Milkshakes are done the old way, in big, aluminium cups, with malt and Streets Blue Ribbon ice cream, and old-school sundaes are on the menu too. Plus, there are spiders. (For anyone whose childhood was deprived of them, they're a disgustingly/fantastically sweet beverage made of ice cream and soft drink.)
You can sit down and eat too. For brekkie and lunch, you can expect oversized portions, with basic offerings of burgers, big brekkies and steak sandwiches. But in true Sydney style, a couple of not-so-traditional dishes have crept onto the menu, including Sonoma honey spiced granola and — you guessed it — smashed avo.
Images: Katje Ford.