posted in: Pictures 13

Here are a few pictures from Arthur Gammage who regularly contributes to the site. Arthur’s with the City Architect’s Department and has access to pictures of the street signage of businesses which were kept by the Advertising Signs Section because all such signs required official approval.

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The pictures include the frontages of the Three Monkeys Coffee Bar, after it moved into Pine Parkade, and the Chuck Wagon Restaurant (mentioned by Robert Hart in a recent diary entry) which was in the Plaza Hotel in St Andrews Street.

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13 Responses

  1. Lara
    | Reply

    The Three Monkeys used to make the best Toasted sandwiches ever. I have fond nemories sitting outside here with my parents enjoying an espresso…me a toasty and milk shake.

    • Allan Jackson

      Hi Lara
      I don’t know if you have seen this but I did do a writeup on a Three Monkeys menu I was shown. It’s in the entry for the 18 October 2008 on the page here:

  2. margaret kidger
    | Reply

    what ever happened to the owner of the three monkeys Mr Bob Humphries .He was owner when myself and a lot of my friends used to go there in the 80,s and 90,s from Woolworths.we used to have our first cup of coffee of the day before we started work and then often had lunch there great place and great memories

    • bob humphreys

      Hi Bob Humphrey’s here from the Three Monkey’s cafe, have had many businesses since then. Currently I own La Bella cafe a lovely Italian resturant and pub on the cornor of Essenwood road and St Thomas Rd.
      Looking at opening a Three Monkeys cafe at the Buxton Village, in Moore Road.
      Hopefully in the New Year

    • Gabri Rigotti

      Hi Bob

      Some of my best childhood memories … whenever I hear the hiss of an espresso machine I recall those magical moments, along with the images of toasted cheese dripping …

      We are from the Italian community of Umkomaas – for our parents the Three Monkeys was an espresso oasis!

    • sally

      Hi Bob
      so looking forward to the opening of THE THREE MONKEYS coffee bar, in Glenwood Village centre, Moore road. I hear it will be opening the first week in August, and on the menu are the famous hot dogs from way back when! Can’t wait to try one again.

  3. Bob Gooderson
    | Reply

    Does anyone remember the Three Monkeys before it moved into Pine Parkade?
    It was in an arcade which ran from West to Pine. I can see the owner in my mind but I cannot remember his name. His manageress was a lady who had escaped from Hungary in, I think, 1957. In the early 1960’s every Thursday afternoon I would walk with my two daughters, Christine aged about 8 and Barbara aged about 6, from the Lonsdale Hotel up West Street usually to Greenacres or Payne Bros so that they could buy a small something. The last call before walking home to the Lonsdale was always The Three Monkeys. Two strawberry and one chocolate milk shakes was the standard order. It was perfectly safe and normal for us to walk into town and back. In my mind it seems just a short while ago but Christine will be 59 this year and Barbara is 56.

    • Allan Jackson

      Hi Bob
      First of all, I thought I might direct you to an entry on this site based on an old Three Monkeys menu – take a look at the entry for 18 October at You’ll see that that the person who started it off was Selwyn Sklarchik who I got to know when he ran Oscars in Hillcrest and branches elsewhere.
      An amazing coincidence is that I recently discovered that there is also a Three Monkeys Coffee Bar in Brisbane and it is one of the very few places in the city (not a bar) that stays open after about 9:30 every night. Even the logo is very similar to the one in Durban but the food and coffee, which are really good, are definitely not as cheap as the Durban prices quoted in the article on this site. See the Brisbane Three Monkeys Facebook page here:

  4. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Bob,
    The only shop I remember in African Life Arcade was Playdays which was at the very end of the arcade Pine Street side. I also recall that on the left hand side heading towards Pine Street, there were no shops but on the wall were wall mounted showcases which were framed with wood. The shops in the arcade displayed their goods in them.
    To confirm, I went to the 1968 Durban Directory and I was right and so were you with the Three Monkeys. Here are the shops in the arcade which ran below the African Life Building 362 West Street.
    West Street : No 2a – 3 Three Monkeys Coffee Bar.
    4 Elle Boutique
    5 Celine and Goodman Opticians
    6 Marylyn
    6a Fishers Book Centre
    6b Bridal Gowns
    7 Kathleen et Cie Hairdressers
    7 Italian Boy (Pty) Ltd
    8 Playdays Toys and Hobbies
    Pine Street
    My one memory of Playdays is that in 1962 before I left for my 9 months Army stint, I bought my then girl friend a parting gift. The gift was a marcasite ring and to go with it I bought from Playdays , a small model soldier of an infantryman. Alas I still got my “Dear John” letter some months later.

  5. Ineke vanHest Botha
    | Reply

    Selwyn from Hillcrest Oscars, opened a new Restaurant in Umhlanga Rocks called the Press Club in 2013. It has the same happy vibe that Selwyn manages to create in all his restaurants. He was looking well the last time that I saw him early 2014.

  6. Dayle
    | Reply

    The Three Monkeys Coffee Bar has reopened..

    We are in the Glenwood Village on the corner of Moore and Hunt road
    we have those hot dogs that everyone remembers..
    And those tasty Sweet Raison Buns

    hope to see many returns and hear of all the stories

    would also be good if anyone maybe has the old menu for me or can remember some of the menu items

    our trading hours
    Monday – Friday
    06:30 – 17:30
    06:30- 14:00
    08:00 – 14:00

  7. Pierre
    | Reply

    Great article. I really love the atmosphere at Three Monkeys Coffee Bar. If you want to see their great menu you can visit

  8. Arthur Gammage
    | Reply

    The Three Monkeys has reopened in the Glenwood Centre, formerly called Buxtons Centre! Partly enclosed and partly an open courtyard arrangement. I will get some photos and send these to Allan.

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