Thursday, 21 January 2015.
Just before 5pm, as I have done countless times since 2007, I arrived at one of my regular dinner haunts – Pizza Hut, 630 George Street, Sydney.
One of the staff who knew me and served me made a stunning announcement.
Tonight, Pizza Hut 630 George Street was closing down.
That was stunning, and sad, for several reasons.
One, I had been visiting 630 George Street since 1987 when I was 16-17 years old (and in late 1993 I also enquired about a job there, but they weren’t hiring).
Two, since 2007 I had been visiting 630 George Street at least once a week, and many weeks more than once.
Three, since Black and Blue Man began in 2010, 630 George Street is where most of it was written.
I began dining out most nights in 2007, partly because I simply enjoyed it and partly because I preferred to do creative writing in public places rather than in the isolation of home.
630 George Street became one of my regular venues for several reasons:
- I’ve always liked Pizza Hut and its Works Buffet
- the Works was still under $20
- 630 George Street was close to Town Hall station, where I used to travel to and from work, and it’s only a 20-minute walk from home
As I became a familiar face there, the staff treated me very well:
- I always got a discount
- they never minded me staying 4-5 hours each time (and no, I didn’t spend all of those hours eating)
- if my favourite table was unavailable when I showed up, they would later inform me when it was empty so I could move there
As well as creative writing, I also came to like 630 George Street as a place to work. Up until 2010 when I began working from home full-time, I would leave the office early, arrive at 5pm to have an early dinner, and then at 6pm power on my laptop PC and complete my last 1-2 hours (or more). Even after I began working from home, though, I continued this routine at 630 George Street and other places.
By 2010, my interest in creative writing had waned – but I still wanted to write somehow, and that’s partly how Black and Blue Man came about. Soon, Saturday became ‘blog night’, and has mostly remained so ever since – and because I could stay up to 5 hours at 630 George Street on Saturday nights, it became my usual ‘blog place’.
So as I said above, Black and Blue Man was mostly written there.
(This post is being written at another favourite haunt only a few doors away on George).
That last night at 630 George Street, I was told that there may be plans to re-open somewhere else in the city.
If they do, of course I’ll go and see what it’s like – but, an almost 28-year era of my life is now over.
Pizza Hut 630 George Street – and especially the staff who worked there since 2007 – thank you and all the best.
Until next time, stay well and take care 🙂