Buildings are not just structures, but places that contain the remnants of our memories and emotions. I was sorting through a folder of Noel’s original newsletters when I saw this picture of Allenby Townhouses and the Harolds sign.

If you live in Brisbane, Harolds may have been somewhere you enjoyed a coffee at lunchtime in the delicatessen, or maybe you remember it from driving past on route to visit a relative in St Andrews Hospital, or on the way to swim at the Spring Hill Baths.

Reading the text below the photo, I realised Harolds was “the” Harolds Posh Café that I knew, and the memories came rushing back.

During our high school years, for my sister and I, Harolds Posh Café was a place of momentary freedom from boarding school.

It was a place we visited with our father, on an “evening pass”, when he was down from Moresby and would stay at the Travelodge in Roma Street on business.  He would walk up the long hill to Grammar, never being one to catch a taxi, and we would amble down Boundary street to our favourite place for dinner, Harolds Posh Café.

Little did we know, that the owner Harold Flemming, had moved his delicatessen from Clayfield, and had engaged Noel Robinson to design the interior layout, whom I would work for 26 years later. We never stopped to notice that there were apartments above the shops and that 17 of them stepwedged around the corner and up Allenby Street.

We were in a world of our own, for Harolds Posh Café was a place of happiness, way too much fettucine carbonara or veal scaloppine with marsala, a place where we doodled on the butcher’s paper tablecloths with crayons, and there was always the tall dark-haired singing waiter. He sang with gutso, he sang with pride and always opera.

This restaurant and the memories of the evenings and walking back up the hill to say goodbye were so poignant that dad even mentioned it in our wedding speeches.

Here’s a copy of the article that I found in Noel’s 2nd ever newsletter, Vol 1. No 2, April 1983, which was published 10 years after starting his business.

It reads:

“Harolds” delicatessen formerly of Clayfield is opening a new restaurant, delicatessen and take-away in the Allenby shops and Townhouse Complex opposite the Main Roads Building. Noel Robinson Built Environments Pty Ltd has designed the building and the interior layout for Harold Fleming the proprietor.

The name of the restaurant will be “Harolds Posh Café” and the delicatessen “Harolds Purveyors of Fine Foods”.

The Allenby development consists of 17 townhouses on ground level and 5 townhouses over 5 shops. The townhouses are approximately 100 square metres internally and the shops approximately 40 square metres internally. Carparking is underground. The ground level is extensively landscaped and incorporates a ‘natural look’ swimming pool, sauna, barbeque and kabana.  The design was conceived in sympathy with the new Spring Hill Development Control Plan which permits three storeys as of right in this Zone.

Thanks for the memories Harold and Noel.