HomeNewsAustraliaCommunity take action to save iconic Paragon cafe in NSW

Community take action to save iconic Paragon cafe in NSW

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Friends of the Paragon cafe in Katoomba, New South Wales are calling on people to take action to save the iconic 102-year-old state heritage listed building from disrepair.

According to The Blue Mountains Gazette, the Paragon closed in May 2018 due to a maintenance dispute between the owner and the tenant.

A planning panel approved a $360,000 repair and restoration development application in July 2020 but work has not yet started.

A petition has since been put forward by ‘Friends of the Paragon’ asking state government to protect the building under the Heritage Act and ensure the property is adequately maintained to keep it protected. So far, it has received over 2,000 signatures.

“The cafe has historical and cultural significance and holds special memories for the Greek community and the great many who have worked in it, visited it, or enjoyed its hospitality over the 102 years that it operated prior to closing in May 2018,” the petition states.

The Samios family taken in the Paragon Café in Dalby in 1936, epitomises the café phenomenon.
The Samios family taken in the Paragon Café in Dalby in 1936, epitomises the café phenomenon.

According to a Facebook post on the Greek Cafe and Milk Bars of Australia page, the Paragon was established by Jack (Zacharias) Theodore Simos in 1916 who migrated from the Greek island of Kythera to Australia.

In 1975, the Paragon was listed by the National Trust in NSW and in 1977, it was placed on the Australian Heritage Commission’s Register of the National Estate.

Jack died in 1976, but Mary continued to manage the business for another 11 years. She passed away in 2001.

In 2003, the business and building were sold separately. In 2018, the business was closed and the building vacated following failed negotiations between the building and business owners.

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