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From furniture to fast food outlet

97-99 Mount Alexander Rd

In 1886 John Glover, the owner of the nearby Cricket Club Hotel, used the vacant block on the opposite side of Victoria Street to build two brick shops at 97-99 Mount Alexander Road.  The corner shop had a residence with eight rooms and the adjoining shop had a residence with seven rooms.  Timber stables were accessed via a right-of-way at the rear.

The corner shop was initially let to David Galt, a furniture dealer, and in 1890 to Charles Messinger, a butcher.  John Potton, a traveller, leased number 99 in 1890.

In the early days tenancy rates were low.  This might have been due in part to the timing coinciding with the shift of focus of the heart of Flemington from Mount Alexander Road to Racecourse and Rankins Roads.

In the mid-to-late 1970s, Cretan woman Irini and her Serbian husband Steve ran a milk bar and fish and chip shop .  Prior to then it was run by an Italian, who also operated the pub.

Fast food outlet Pizza Hut has operated from the adjoining shop for many years.  In recent times the corner shop has hosted an Indian grocery, but again lies vacant.

The building is described as aesthetically distinguished in the Moonee Valley Heritage Study, which adds the following:

An unusually richly decorated Gothic Revival block in bi-chrome work with bluestone plinth and stuccoed enrichment, the most distinguishing element being the round arched openings with lancet arched drip moulds and banded voussoirs.  The façade treatment is pilastrated and there is a balustrated parapet. The shop fronts are original with cast iron verandahs.

References:

Heritage Place Report (Moonee Valley City Council, 1 March 2010)

Conversations with Panayiota Papadimitriou, who lived in Flemingon and worked in the shop in the 1970s

97-99 Mt Alexander Rd, with former Cricket Club Hotel in background

97-99 Mt Alexander Rd, with former Cricket Club Hotel in background

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