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Smorgy's Whitehorse Road

After driving out of the mess of Ringwood it was always momentarily uplifting to see the Easter Island themed Smorgy's restaurant, nestled in amongst a lush garden of palms. It was out of its world. Now all that remains on the site is the floor (hardwood strip flooring no less) and some of the trees. All will be gone soon to make way for Club Ringwood, which will be home to 75 gaming machines. Bummer.

I'd like to turn up a photo somewhere of the Smorgy's but it might take a while.

Could this be it? (try not to look at the food)

No, I think that was Burwood now, having read up on Smorgy's at Tiki Central.
The Smorgy’s chain was originally dubbed “The Island Trader”, and has existed since the mid-1980’s, when it was created by Eric Schwaiger. At that time, the five locations were decked out with A-frame entranceways, plenty of thatch, and a generally tropical atmosphere (with the exception of the Geelong store, which is a more straight forward nautical theme).
During the middle-1990’s, the decor was expanded, with spectacular results. Several life-sized Moai were added to each location, detailed in a realistic manner that respects the original Rapa Nui Moai builders. A huge rock volcano now sits in front of the A-frame entrance; you must walk through the middle of it (via a bridge over a moat) to get into the restaurant.

You think that the State Library of Victoria might have at least one photo of an Easter Island Smorgy's, but no.

On their website, Smorgy's boast, "Each restaurant has it's own spectacular special effects show, there is the active volcano at Bundoora, the watergarden at Ringwood, the musical fountain and panoramic views of the Dandenongs at Burwood, the waterwheel at East Burwood and of course the superb Salty the Seal and King Neptune shows as well as the giant marine aquarium at Cunningham Pier, Geelong." Which all sounds great except that only two of these restaurants are still open - Geelong and Bundoora. Someone better go get a pic of that "active volcano" while it's still there. "The spectacular erupting volcano lights the night sky against the backdrop of the city skyline. Large waterfalls and rainforests with creeks and pools enrich the dining experience."


  • peter_j
    edited January 1970
    I'm told they were all designed by Peter McIntyre.
  • alicat
    edited January 1970
    I used to go there as a kid with my nan as a treat. My brother and I loved it at about 8 ish years of age. Surely I have a photo somewhere. Ahhh memories. a bit like the cherished memories of the whitehorse on the tower.........
  • peter_j
    edited January 1970
    Great - if you can't work out how to show them maybe email them through and I can put them up. peter at butterpaper dot com.
  • yobitch
    edited January 1970
    I too have heard that Peter McIntyre designed them - or at least made money by documenting and running the jobs.In fact shortly after judging th Geelong woolstores competition for Deakin University a Smorgy's turned up on the pier over the road. Mr. McIntyre turns 80 this year - wonder if the obituary writers (although may he live on and on and on) will mention this and his plentiful money making treasures of the 70's and ' 80s or congratulate on the handful of 50's houses and Parliament Station ?
  • theflanker
    edited January 1970
    yeah peter mac did design them. i worked there for a while a few years ago. my dad actually built most of the smorgy's restaurants for eric schwaiger.
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