Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Coorparoo Markets

I never really thought of myself as over-industrious, but now as I think back, I must have had a reasonable amount of get up and go. I worked in the local corner store after school for some years, then during one school holidays at Christmas I built trains at Rocklea. Then in my last holidays after finishing secondary school, I picked up a job working in the groceries section of Myers at Coorparoo. The shopping centre was opened in 1960 by premier of the day Frank Nicklin, whose father and grandfather had lived nearby in the early days of the suburb. I worked there in 1966, and this is the way it used to look. 
(Photo: www.brisbanetimes.com.au)

Right behind the grocery section on the ground floor was the cafeteria. Staff were allowed to have lunch there (of course we had to pay, but we did get a discount). This is just how I remember it. When I rocked up to my first day's work, I found that one of my new workmates was the son of my high school headmaster. We became quite friendly - I think he had a bit more regard for me than his old man did!
(Photo: Courtesy Brisbane City Council; BCC-B54-18443)

Since those days, the centre has gone through many changes. Myer converted their department store into a Megamart that sold furniture and electrical goods. That tanked and it was taken over and rebadged by Harvey Norman. That store also failed, and the building was shut down around 2007.

Recently it was given a new lease of life by some entrepreneurs who renamed it Myermarkets Coorparoo. Tenants were largely food and vegetable vendors. However, I understand that the site has been purchased by Brisbane City Council who are busy constructing the Eastern Busway. Perhaps a park-and-ride facility is in the future, I'm not sure. This is the way it is looking at present.
(Photo: © 2011 the foto fanatic)

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  1. Growing up in Annerley in the 1960s, our regular shopping was done at the Annerley Junction, so a trip to the bright lights of Coorparoo for shopping was heady stuff! For a start, you got to drive up that long high ramp and park on top of Myers and then walk down the long stairs (the escalators only went up to the car park). Then there were the delights of the cafeteria (fine dining at its highest!) and the ladies' room was hidden away on a secret mezzanine floor at the rear of the store. Not only was there the delights of Myers, but also Woolworths (then a department store) and the Brisbane Cash & Carry (one of the first supermarkets in Brisbane). The joys of this shopping centre were limitless. There was the counter where you could buy a sponge cake and have it iced to your own requirements on the spot (the ultimate birthday treat was to go in and design your own birthday cake). And there was the doughnut machine that actually made your doughnuts while you watched. Such bliss!

  2. Well, if you bought coffee beans there or anything from the wonderful imported biscuit range, I may have served you!

  3. Growing up in Wynnum in the 70s, a trip to Myers Cooparoo was quite a treat (excelled only by Myers in The Valley at Christmas, with Santa up on the rooftop, which you accessed through a service lift 'out the back' under escort by costumed staff). I recall the cafeteria was on a mezzanine at that time. My dim memories of the specifics is that it was a 70s design, unlike say, Coles in Queens Street.

    And what a thrill it was to drive up that ramp into the car park!

    Your blog is always a great delight to me Mr fanatic. Season's greetings to you!


  4. I watched the Myer development take shape as I caught the trolley bus to school each day. The store was 2 levels of departments plus 2 extra levels at the rear. The lower suspended level was a child care area and the top floor was an administration / office level. The store was unusual in that it had a camera, car accessories, hardware, lighting, and a gardening department. It even had a fruit and vegetable counter downstairs. I worked there for about 8 years in the Floorcoverings and Manchester areas. When it rained we had to cover the display rolls of carpet with plastic as,where the ramp outside the building was attached was cracked and water came thru the crack.

  5. My sister worked in the Myer's Cooperoo childen's department in the early 1960's. I have her Myer's Social Club minutes of meetings book which she had handwritten. It seems like they all had a lot of fun working there.

  6. FROM unknown: I worked at Myer Coorparoo in 1969 as Glennis Ellis. Started in Menswear office, then Layby lower floor & ended up in the main office above Cafe which looked out over store through glass. There was also a Hairdresser opposite the Cafe & the Newsagency in the corner that opened into Myer Menswear Dept on Old Cleveland Rd.The shoppers loved C'roo, as there was also a PO & Bank opposite. Let's not forget there was also a Pharmacy in the Myer store & Woolworths opened into Myer as well. There were trams & buses going in every direction & C'roo Junction was a days outing for all, having lunch in the Cafe. I loved working there & made a lot of friends. Aahh the memories!


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