Melbourne equals coffee. A family business in Preston Central is part of our café culture’s proud history: Lucchini Café has its origins back in the late 1940s, boasting a direct link to the time when Melbourne’s love of coffee was established. This was the era when Italian migrants introduced Melbourne to real coffee, pizza and good cakes, changing the city forever.
Have you ever wondered why so many bakeries are run by Vietnamese? Bread is not a traditional Asian food, after all. The reason is that the French colonised Vietnam from 1887 until 1954, and while they were there, they introduced the locals to a love of pastries. By the time the French left Vietnam the locals made had made a speciality out of French style baking.
Melburnians love their op shops, seriously. You used to be able to take an op shop tour, like those outlet shopping bus tours that come in from places like Albury-Wodonga. For a couple of years there was a Melbourne Fringe show doing the same thing – you got on a bus with a performer and enjoyed a running commentary with your tour.
Strolling along High St in Preston Central, looking round at the hairdressers and cafes, the Chinese and Vietnamese eateries, the bakeries, the $2.00 shops, you might wonder what this part of Melbourne was like for the people who first came here. How did they live? And how did Preston get its name?
There are a couple of things you might not know about Preston Town Hall – one of them being its history as the number one venue of rock and roll in Melbourne. Yes, that’s right – if you were heading out to see a band in the early 60s, the Preston Town Hall was your destination.