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Greek cafe owners made mark in Bundaberg

Lathouras brothers
John, Mark and Theo Lathouras behind the soda fountain of the Elite Cafe, Bundaberg. Picture: State Library of Queensland.

The State Library of Queensland has published a tribute to Greek-origin former Bundaberg cafe owners, the Lathouras brothers.

They migrated to Australia from Alatsata, in modern Turkey, in 1906.

By 1923 Jannos (Jack) Lathouras and his brothers, Michael and Mark, had opened two cafes in Bourbong Street.

Cafe Royal, Bundaberg
Group portrait with Mark Lathouras and others outside the Cafe Royal, Bundaberg. Picture: State Library of Queensland

Jack Lathouras worked at several places including Melbourne, Brisbane and Ingham before joining his cousins, John and Steve Girdis, in the Central Coffee Palace, 374 George Street, Brisbane.

Lathouras brothers
The Lathouras brothers. Picture: State Library of Queensland

The two families were involved in several businesses together in the Brisbane CBD but by 1920, the Lathouras brothers relocated to Bundaberg to open two cafes, Cafe Royal at 86 Bourbong Street (opened in 1920) and and the Elite Cafe at 143 Bourbong Street (opened in 1923).

Their living quarters were located above the spacious Café Royal.

The families in Bundaberg were encouraged to socialise together. Sundays were spent with the Leondarakis (Londy) and Glous (Lewis) families.

Harry, Peter and Manuel Lewis had taken over a café in Bourbong Street, the Marble Café, previously connected to the Cominos Bros – John, Theo, Arthur and Paul.

The Lathouras brothers expanded their business by delivering ice-cream to households using a horse and cart and produced their own confectionery for sale through the cafés.

These delightful treats were made on the premises at the back of the Café Royal in the “Lolly Room”.

The Elite operated under the Lathouras brothers until 1976.

Elite Cafe, Bundaberg
Elite Cafe, Bourbong Street, Bundaberg, with Michael (Mick) Lathouras standing, 1920s. Picture: State Library of Queensland
  • Originally published on the State Library of Queensland website.

By Myles Sinnamon

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