:— The rise

and rise of the Italian cafe

In anticipation of a pair of forthcoming programmes on Radio Scotland, Catherine Fellows takes a look at that uniquely Scottish institution, the Italian cafe.

A lot of us wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Italian cafe. That might sound a bit dramatic, but ask anyone who was growing up in Scotland in the 505 and 605, particularly those from smaller




Open seven days food served all day tri 8: sat


tuesday- saturday I900 - 2200


15"“, . ,Ifl‘sn w...

towns, and they will tell you that there was more to the ‘Tally’ than pizza and espresso: or rather, peas

Already established as one of Edinburgh's best diners with possibly the finest food at surprisingly modest prices. (We're not kidding - ask around)

Meals served all day 12 noon till 12 midnight (last orders)

6 Days a week

Rock Cafe 18 Howe Street Edinburgh Tel 031 225 7225

my, _-

Carol Wloaad Angus McIntyre of Home soak up the mines ot‘Malson Hoctor’s

and vinegar and tea, because that was what the punters were ordering way back when. The cafe was the

hub of many communities; it was where people went to escape from overcrowded homes, to have fun with friends, but above all, it was the place to meet members of the opposite sex.

Before the cafes, you could trawl the church hall and that was about it. There would have been tea rooms and restaurants for the middle-classes, and pubs for serious drinkers who were almost exclusively men, but nowhere for working-class women , families and young people to gather, until the Italians arrived.

The Second World War was a time of trauma torthe immigrants, and of shame for the communities which had taken them to heart.

They had to start at the bottom, often as peddlers of plaster statuettes which were popular at the time. Then came ice-cream, a revelation to the increasing numbers of Clyde coast holiday makers. The push barrels gave way to parlours, and these soon picked up on Scottish delights such as fish and chips, black pudding, Bovril and hot tangerine. On dreary days when landladies turfed visitors out after breakfast, the cafe became a haven of warmth and hospitality.


The staff of OLD ORLEANS invite you to. . .

pr emu


We are now taking bookings for parties and groups for our Christmas Feast and Christmas Lunch available from 30th November until Christmas Eve.

With a menu offering a full range of Christmas Fare from traditional turkey to barbequed ribs (and of course something for the vegetarians in the party!). Old Orleans is the ideal place to celebrate Christmas with friends and family alike. (Menus range from £9.95 - £13.95)

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To make your party reservation phone

03 1-229 15 1 1 Old Orleans,3O Grindlay Street. Edinburgh

The List 20 November 3 December l992 81