Shakin’ the World Over: The Greek-Australian Milk Bar
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In Sydney, late in 1932, Joachim Tavlaridis — known as Mick Adams — opened Australia’s first modern “American-style” milk bar: the Black & White 4d. Milk Bar. Indeed, Adams’ milk bar was the world’s first. Within five years, there were some four thousand milk bars operating in Australia. Most were Greek-run. By the mid-1930s, Greeks had taken the concept to New Zealand. At the same time, Great Britain also quickly imported the idea, and attempts were made to introduce it to the United States; although influenced by food-catering enterprises in America, “milk bars” did not exist there. Milk bars even appear to have reached Fiji not long after their initial success in Australia. Adams’ refreshment revolution became both an Australian and international food-catering icon. This paper provides an insight into the milk bar’s international cross-cultural origins, its development within Australia, its subsequent distribution overseas, and its role as a vehicle for Americanisation.