Realising the dream
We decided it would be fun to drive from New York to Miami, and along the way we ate pancakes for breakfast every day. Americans served pancakes the way we serve toast in Australia. We dreamed of one day opening up a pancake restaurant in Melbourne.
building the dream
It took us 6 years to raise the funds, and while selling hot-dog cookers around Australia, we came across a burnt-out delicatessen in Adelaide and converted it into The Pancake Kitchen.
We opened on Sundays
Being open on Sundays in Adelaide seemed radical at the time, but we were all about convenience, so we opened on Sunday during the 1966 footy season.
The first menu
A couple of our earliest customers worked at The Advertiser. One night, they managed to get menus printed for us - on dark-brown left-over shirt packaging! They were too dark to read, but they did the job.
Financial circumstances meant we had to start in Adelaide, but we finally returned home and opened up at 4 Market Lane. We called it The Pancake Parlour, as The Pancake Kitchen was already registered at the time.
The Party Machine
One of our bold new ideas was to take pancakes to the people. Long before food trucks, we built The Pancake Parlour Party Machine, which could be towed to any location and a staff member would cook for guests. Should we open a food truck?
The double opening
Our lease at 4 Market Lane wasn’t extended, so we opened up just down the lane (number 25) and at Bourke Street. Pancake Parade – blocking off Bourke Street before the council created the Mall.
The Soda Fountain
It served drinks, ice-creams and hot dogs, and was situated right outside our Bourke Street restaurant. A lot of what was served at The Soda Fountain is served on our menu today – the sundaes, sodas and so on.
Our first free-standing suburban restaurant opened on Doncaster Road. It was so busy, we had to open it 24 hours.
Highpoint & Northland open
Within 11 months of each other. We were now flippin’ pancakes in the north and west of Melbourne.
Glen Waverley & Eastland open
The eastern corridor of Melbourne is now a pancake haven. Pancakes ‘n’ movies was a hit.
A different approach
Fountain Gate opened with a newer style look and our most expensive restaurant (at the time). We started to look at new design elements that people still associate with The Pancake Parlour.
The unfolding future
While Fountain Gate took a different approach, we unfolded a new style with the opening of Melbourne Central. A robust-and-copper look with a high-quality finish, and a tree in the middle.
Malvern East opens
Our most exciting development to date. It was the first restaurant with its own bar, and we built a lovely lounge area to complement!
The revamp continues
Malvern East inspired us to revamp Highpoint and Doncaster with our new look. Both restaurants feature larger and more comfortable booths, and continue to be our flagship restaurants.
A menu re-think
The new look also brought upon a new direction with our menu. We introduced a number of innovative limited-time specials, which we introduce seasonally. Our classics are still there – always will be.
Knox and Werribee open
We now have a total of 11 Melbourne restaurants flippin’ up lovely sweet and savoury pancakes and crepes. Where to next? Stay tuned.