THE RYDGES POST
Iconic Harry’s Café de Wheels dates back over 70 years and many would argue that this fine establishment still sells Sydney’s best pies.
The history in a nutshell:
Back in the late 1930’s a chap called Harry Edwards saw an opportunity to provide Sydneysiders with today’s equivalent of a late night kebab, only Harry’s fare was pie ‘n’ peas and crumbed sausages. His ‘shop’ was a caravan café just outside the docks at Woolloomooloo and his customers included sailors, soldiers, cabbies and coppers. Up popped World War II and Harry enlisted in the AIF.
Because of his ability to box, Harry scored the nickname “Tiger’ while serving in the Middle East. These days ‘Tiger’ is still the name of famous pie, peas, mash & gravy.
On returning to Sydney, Harry discovered what many people do when they return from overseas – nothing much on the homefront had changed – including the need for a vendor of a late night feed – so Harry re-opened the caravan at Woolloomooloo. Up until then, the café was known simply as ‘Harry’s’ then an officious council brought in a new rule that mobile caravan eateries had to move minimum of 12 inches (30cm) a day – and so ‘Harry’s Café de Wheels’ was born.
There are many events and visiting celebrities that have made Harry’s a Sydney icon and from that one caravan in 1945 there grew a number of franchises including Newcastle, Tempe, Parramatta, Burwood, Penrith, Bondi and Broadway. There is also one just off Chinatown in the Haymarket, just around the corner from Capitol Square Hotel by Rydges. Harry’s has been classifgied by the National Trust of Australia (NSW) and if you would like to read more about the delightful Harry’s Café de Wheels journey, here is a link to a timeline of major events.
Photos: The Food Pornographer