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Attraction,Drink/Dine ian 2/11/2014

The iconic Harry’s Café de Wheels has been a part of the Sydney landscape since 1945 and today thrives in a number of locations. There have been some historic highlights and famous pie-eating faces down the decades…

In the 1970’s...

  • Harry's Cafe de Wheels Colonel SandersThe café wheels ‘went missing’ one night and for a while the caravan became known as Harry’s Café de Axle…
  • Elton John, a regular when he was in town, held a press conference from inside Harry’s…
  • Colonel Harland Sanders of KFC fame found Harry’s pie ‘n’ peas so finger-lickin’ good that he ate three in front of the caravan while leaning on his walking stick…
  • In 1975 Harry ‘retired’ after 30 continuous years and sold the business to Alex Kuronya…
  • In 1978, over a pie and a glass of champagne, the navy’s Rear Admiral David Martin commissioned the caravan as HMAS Harry…

 

In the 1980’s...

  • After 13 years at the helm, Alex found himself getting on in years and the business had fallen on hard times. It needed an injection of enthusiasm. Enter current owner, Michael Hannah…
  • Michael was no stranger to Harry’s. When he was a kid his father, a Sydney cabbie, would take Michael and his siblings there for a pie and, on his return from serving in Vietnam in 1970, Harry’s was Michael’s first port-of-call…
  • Move along to Australia Day 1988. With the harbour and surrounds were putting on a spectacular celebration display for the Bicentennial, exchange of the business took place…
  • Harry’s had long been a place for celebrities to visit – in days gone by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum and Marelene Dietrich were seen picking up a pie… and it is still a good place to spot the stars. In recent times customers have included Sir Richard Branson, Russell Crowe, Larry Emdur, Kevin Costner, Brook Shields, Pat Rafter, Olivia Newton-John, Justice Crew, James Morrison, Jerry Lewis, Billy Crystal, Pamela Anderson, Sara O’Hare, Lachlan Murdoch, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Adrian Greiner, Anthony Bourdain, Nelson Aspen, Chopper Reid, Sophie Monk and singer Peter Blakely…

 

Harry's Cafe de Wheels MenuIn the 1990’s...

  • The aforementioned singer, Mr Blakely, released an album titled ‘Harry’s Café de Wheels’ and it went platinum…
  • In 1991 Rupert Murdoch had Harry’s pies flown to LA for his Aussie themed Oscar party…
  • On 1998 the first Harry’s franchise opened in Newcastle – inside a refurbished original Bondi tram…

 

In the 2000’s...

  • In 2004 Harry’s was classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW)…
  • Also that year a National Trust building in the Haymarket was converted to house Harry’s Café de Wheels Chinatown…
  • In 2007, Harry’s opened another franchise in Liverpool…
  • In 2008 the Virgin Pie Eating competition was held at Woolloomooloo with Foxtel’s Chantelle Dawson winning the Virgin Mobile Celebrity food fight…
  • In 2010 the Tempe and Parramatta franchises opened…
  • In 2012 the cast chose Harry’s for the release of the movie, American Reunion…
  • In June 2012, the Burwood and Penrith franchises opened…
  • Now Broadway and Bondi have joined the journey. Watch this space!

 

The Haymarket Harry’s Café de Wheels is just a stroll around the corner from Capitol Square Hotel by Rydges.

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Photos: The Food Pornographer

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