Many Sydneysiders who’ve had wild nights out in Kings Cross over the years would know this place well. This is Harry’s Café de Wheels located near the Finger Wharf at Woolloomooloo.
Harry’s is a Sydney icon, serving its peas and pies since the 1930s when Harry Edwards first opened his café in front of the naval dockyard. In 1938 Mr Edwards closed his van and enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) during WWII but returned in 1945 to reopen the café named “Harry’s” at the same spot. In later years, it became known as “Harry’s Café de Wheels” due to council regulations requiring food vans to move at least a foot each day. Harry made sure he complied.
While serving in the Middle East Harry had earned himself the nickname of “Tiger” due to his boxing skills. This name stuck and became the name of the café’s signature item of a beef pie, covered in peas, mash and gravy.
Harry operated the van for over 30 years, finally selling it to Alex Kuronya in 1975. In 1978 Rear Admiral David Martin commissioned the caravan as “HMAS Harry’s”. Later, in 1988 Mr Kuronya sold it onto its current owner Michael Hannah who is a Vietnam Veteran and was a frequent visitor to Harry’s throughout his childhood. In 2004 Harry’s Café de Wheels was classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW) and included on its register.
This Sydney icon has been visited for years by a diverse range of people from taxi drivers, police, soldiers, late night pub goers, media tycoons and international celebrities including Colonel Sanders, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis and Pamela Anderson to name a few. It now caters to tourist buses and has since opened franchises across the city, even looking to expand internationally into China.
Note: I try to be as accurate as possible but make no guarantees. Please use this information at your own risk.