Yarra Coffee Palace

Yarra Coffee Palace, Yarraville

Guest post: Growing up in the Yarra Coffee Palace

by Lucia Nardo

The first time I entered the Yarra Coffee Palace was late 1961. Our family had been forced to move from our rented home in Williamstown with its large productive garden. The Palace, with its faded name painted high on the front façade, was altogether different. The dark interior of the building smelled of mould and was layered in dust. Instead of a garden, the land behind the property sported a dilapidated stable, complete with rusted tools and a horse cart. I’d never seen wheels that big on anything. To a small child, used to a compact home, it was confusing and intriguing. This abandoned incarnation of the Yarra Coffee Palace was dense with untold stories. Even at the age of six, I wondered about the people who’d stayed there when it had been a temperance hotel. Continue reading