Wedding Reception at Nick’s Cafe – Do You Know These People?

Wedding reception at Nick’s Cafe, Elizabeth St., Brisbane, ca. 1950s.

A recent donation to the John Oxley Library includes this wonderful photograph of a wedding reception which was held at Nick’s Cafe in Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, during the 1950s.  Unfortunately the bride and groom, standing at the rear of the group, are unidentified and we are hoping that someone may be able to help us shed some light on this happy gathering.

Nick’s cafe was started by Greek immigrant, Nick Panos, around 1928 and survived in two locations in Elizabeth Street until 1960.  It was known as the “Waldorf of Elizabeth Street” and was one of only a few night spots in Brisbane in the 1940s and early 1950s.  It hosted a wide array of diners including Prince Phillip, sports stars Rod Laver and Dawn Fraser, as well as judges, journalists, gunmen and prostitutes.  Everyone was welcome at Nick’s.  Other photographs in this collection illustrate the varied and colourful clientele.

Nick with budding tennis stars Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall and Ken McGregor at Nick’s Cafe, Brisbane, ca. 1950s.

Dining at Nick’s Cafe, Brisbane, ca. 1950s. Left to Right: wrestler Chief Little Wolf (Ventura Tenario), Brisbane Stadium manager Bert Potts, and boxer Johnny Azzard.

For more information a fascinating account of Nick’s Cafe can by found in a blog post Nick’s Cafe: the Waldorf of Elizabeth Street written by 2016 John Oxley Library fellow, Toni Risson, who has been researching Greek cafes in Brisbane.

If you can identify anyone in the wedding photograph please let us know as we are keen to provide some context and detail for this lovely snapshot of Brisbane’s social history.  The photographs are currently being accessioned and will eventually be digitised and made available through our catalogue.

Lynn Meyers – Specialist Librarian, State Library of Queensland