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Monday, February 28, 2011

Posted from Facesbook -

Genie Driscoll

2:18pm Feb 28

Restaurants etc in Salisbury - way back when:

Since independence Harare lost the popular Windsor Hotel on Baker Avenue. It housed the Colony, where Edwin and Rachelle played twin pianos to international cabaret standards to discerning diners in formal finery. The Lincoln Room had fantastic value for money food in luxurious surroundings. It closed late November 1980 when the set three-course lunch, featuring baron of beef, rolled to the table and carved to order was $1,50.

1890 was the cocktail bar. Popular with lunchtime philanderers, it shut at
2:30 sharp, when drinkers moved next door to Branch Office (ex-Blue Room)
opening 10:30 t o 10:30. Some heroic boozers returned to 1890, which shut at
The Egg and I was in the same building, as was Lion's Den.

In second Street on the corner you could buy fab Icecream cones for $0.25c, and Steers; behind it served wonderful burgers for $0.50c. At lunch time the QE girls and GHS would queue up to buy burgers and icecream with our pocket money.

The day the Windsor closed (earlier than announced to avoid vandalism seen
at Meikles' Long Bar by "souvenir hunters") beer was 38c; bar lunch 35c.

Opposite was a complex housing the raucous Round Bar and Le Coq d'Or where
little French was heard. The building was owned by a religious sect, which
left the country at UDI. The premises were banned from selling drink or
tobacco; dancing was it. For years they thought it was a library!

Other favorite bands included The Bats and The Drifters, who changed their band

Name to The Holy Black. Lead Guitarist and vocals Nic Pickard eventually relocated to Johannesburg and opened his own studio, “Memphis Studios” and began a new

Career catering to the newly formed South African TV station, with jingles etc. Sadly He passed away last year 2010 from Cancer.

Playboy was nearby, as was La Boheme: nothing to do with opera, it offered
strippers of often-venerable years and was a target of an inexpertly thrown
grenade during the "bush war". The entrance fee for Sunset Strip was 2
shillings and sixpence." The Gentlemen" were the popular Rock band that
played at Saturday Lunchtimes and Sunday Evenings!

Three major Chinese outlets closed after 1980: Golden Dragon, a hangout of
pre-independence Ministry of Information people, the bar a favorite with
international journalists,

The Bamboo Inn, an appealing pub/restaurant run by the Kee family and later
by an Irishman called (of course) Paddy and The Mandarin, next to Meikles Store
run by the Law-Smith’s who finally gave up the ghost and took their restaurant to
Johannesburg, South Africa. It had no bar. But I loved having lunches after school
There. Both the Kees and the Law-Smith’s were related and my sister and I were best
Friends with them, as they lived next door to us in Gunhill.

Down the way the Pink Panther also had a grenade lobbed in during the hondo.
Run by two aged sisters from the Caucasus, they served delicious kebabs at
the original site, later Linquenda House. One also owned the Georgian Grill.
PP later became Alfredo's then Front Page: restaurants with lively pubs,
gregarious regulars, and liberal hours. The "Page" owners: a blonde and a
brunette belonged in international glamour magazines.

Then of course you had the Ambassador Hotel which had brilliant Buffet’s for $2.00 p.p
Every Sunday. I miss it.

The best whole chicken was to be found at the Lighthouse Restaurant opposite the Vistarama

Cinemas in Avondale Road, and across the street was Munmace Enterprises co-owned by my mother Moreen Tregaskis and Hugh Munmace. They built anything from Dams, to Roads, and even four yachts, prominently displayed in their huge yards for a year. People used to come to the fence to watch the yachts being built.

Pino's in Union Avenue (Kwame Nkrumah) was arguably the best seafood joint
around, but gained notoriety when someone complained and the Portuguese
Proprietor whacked him over the head with a flambe pan.

The Bombay duck between Jameson (Samora Machel) and Central was run,
improbably, by ex-BSAP troopie, Tug Wilson; it served iridescent curries all
hours for next to nothing. .25c.
In Greendale Avenue was the locals' idea of an English Pub, The Red Fox...
At Msasa, The Red Lantern, run by S-W African (Namibian) Germans specialized
in eisbein, knackwurst and bratwurst.

Beverly Rocks was a hospitable hostel: good food, great music, lovely
gardens, (now a government training centre.)

Going east, the old Jamaica Inn was run by various characters including
cross eyed Ruby Strutt, who was married to Jimmy Shields, the racing Driver;
an ex-Federal hangman and Commonwealth boxing gold medal winner. Good stop
there on the way to or from Three Monkeys in Marandellas (Marondera) for
lunch. (Now a religious institute.)

Glen Lorne's local was the festive Highlands Park, run first of all by the
Nicholls family and then by ex-Kenya big game hunter Toby Royston. Great
dinner dances, lovely Sunday lunches, cream teas in the garden.

Down the road at Chisipete Shopping Centre was The Howf of Chisholm, which
was super

The Spaniards, Marlborough (ex-Quorn) served incredibly good food, except
for the soup, which was watery, insipid and costly. . You queued and
often cleared the table yourself. The food was delicious and you either
brought your own wine or bought rotgut Barolo. Guido was deaf and when you
came to pay he asked what you had and worked it out in his head.

Sardinian Sandro also ran Eros: fine Mediterranean food and friendly bar and
Sandrock's, for back-packers. Close by was Taco's with punters Chalet as a
suitcase bomb exploded at Woolworth's nearby with many fatalities? Regulars
helped survivors. (Barbours was the real target.) On quieter Chalet days,
great juicy joints were trundled in at lunch; patrons sliced their own for
50c with pickles, mustard, horseradish chips and rolls.

There was the Park Lane Hotel and there was a circular restaurant called the Kya Nyama opposite the entrance. Steaks were sold here by weight and were amongst the best in Salisbury. There was another Italian restaurant called Guidos in Sinoia St that served the biggest T bones I have ever seen. My dad called them Brontosaurus Steaks. In Avondale the Acropolis run by the owner Spiros, made the best spare ribs in Rhodesia served with mountains of chips (fries), Two plates would serve 2 couples easily and he would give you a take away container for a doggy bag to take any uneaten graze home.

Up the road was the George Hotel where in 1972 a beer cost 20 cents and a vodka and lemonade around 60 cents. Crisps were 10 cents so add 2 packets of Willards salt and vinegar and you could get all this for $1.00.

The city's best pies were served in a motor sport-theme cocktail bar.

There was a civilized snooker room (Although I was never allowed more then a peek in.) It became a motor parts store, then a Spar.

Park Lane (now GMB HQ) the Kaya Nyama steakhouse was its printed "Doggy
bags" as the steaks were so enormous.
The Clovagalix, on Fife Avenue, caught fire once too often, becoming Cafe Med,
Borrowdale. Caruso's on 4th/Samora was a great Chips d'Oliviera club-cum
Portuguese pub/restaurant.
As Vila Peri, it moved to 3rd/Baines where the usually grubby Pointe is now.
Next-door was Fat Mama's, previously Spago's. Now called Mama Mia's it
thrives at Newlands.

The Cellar, Marimba Park was tops with journalists and the printing trade,
serving fab whisky prawns, real rosti; the upstairs bar often seemed
the centre of the universe.

Kamfinsa's Bizarre Bar (later IT, previously Buster's, The Cockpit, etc) was
hugely popular with yuppies, briefly with buppies; once a licence to print
money. New owners cut corners. Now it's a swimming pool sundries shop.
Meikles closed- The Mirabelle, The Causerie, Flagstaff and Captain's Cabin,
Bagatelle and La Chandelle. Monomotapa lost 1001 Horsemen and Bali Hai, but
gained La Francais from Avondale.

High -Chaparral (ex-Nick's Bar), Avondale opened all hours: a good greasy
spoon where coffee and steak rolls helped avoid the worst "mornings after",
especially after Le Matelot (ex-Lighthouse Restaurant), died a death. Aphrodite,
Strathaven, was a superb Greek restaurant; Demi's near State Lotteries
closed due to commuter omnibuses' anarchistic parking. The original owners
set up Tavern Bacchus, near Reps, which then became the Manchurian.

Up the street, Copacabana served wonderful Portuguese food, having
previously been White Lotus.

Himalaya, nearby, did colossal searing noon curries at minimal cost but was
avoided after dusk. Rosedale's/Rose Bowl/Rose & Crown in Hatfield was a
superb Sunday lunch venue with live entertainment.

One of the best seafood platters you could ever eat was at the Kentucky,
also in Hatfield. When another outfit bought the place, proposing to shut
it, locals raised a widely supported petition in protest. Courts ruled in
favour of the petitioners but it's closed anyway


  1. I came across this site by acident, you article brings back manny happy memories of Salisbury in the early seventies. Wonerful stuff reminds me of my misspent youth.........Brendan Burns Purley Surrey. UK

  2. I used to know the late Nick Pickard who was a member of The Drifters Band in Salisbury in the early 70's.
    I would like to get in touch with his widow, Helen Pickard. Do you by any chance have her contact address? Thank you, Carl Richardson

  3. Didn't the holy black play at bretts? John married Isabel at a Saly Army wedding. Was there.

  4. Hi, I am Nick Pickards Daughter, Nicole. So happy to find this blog and read about my dad. Yes he did play at Bretts! I have a page about the Holy Black & Drifter on Facebook

  5. Tavern Bacchus. My most favourite of all restaurants where I had "my own table" and where in 1983 I married my wife. Joan Botha threw everything at the event, two full crews of waiters and cooks, choice 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 puddings for the 50 guests. She even organised the lectern(from Reps)for the ceremony all whilst Sheila was in hospital with malaria. To quote Joan "When you brought Sheila back for the second time I knew your number was up" !!! Apparently I had never taken anyone there more than once.

  6. Hi. I used to work @ Memphis studios for Nick and Helen Pickard which was situated in Wineburg I'm south african and their friend I think his name was Harry, can't really tell his name. They moved going to Memphis in Tennesse. Very good people. Is Helen still alive.? Miss them dearly. I was supposed to go with them but I was still young and @ school.