View of Abbott Street, Cairns featuring Cominos Cafe

News of the day

Cairns Post, Wednesday 29 August 1934, page 10

Shopping Ideas. Comino’s Cafe.

Comino’s Cafe, Cairns, is the happy rendezvous of thousands of people in search of healthful, appetising refreshments, daintily served in pleasant surroundings.

Morning and afternoon teas, luncheons and suppers are all popular events at Comino’s, where friends meet to chat about subjects that interest, while enjoying strawberries and fresh rich cream; malted milk and cream; ice-cream; or hot scones; rolIs, buns, pies, and pasties.

The finest dairy cream is obtainable at Comino’s; also, pure fresh milk from the dairy.

Cakes and pastry are a speciality, and Comino’s display of confectionery is outstanding. One visit to the cafe "where quality and service count" will be followed. by another and another. Country orders are promptly and personally attended to. The address is Abbott-street, Cairns, and the 'phone number 2711.


For several decades, Cominos Café acted as the social hub of Cairns and nearby towns. Established in 1906 as a small catering business, it grew to become one of ‘Australia’s most modern cafés’, which at one stage employed over 100 people.

For most of the time the café was situated in Abbott St, on the site of today’s ‘Orchid Plaza’ shopping centre. It occupied two floors with a mezzanine area and provided its customers with high quality food and drinks as well as with a range of services appreciated especially by country clients on visits to Cairns: showers, toilets and rest rooms.

Cominos was a ‘departmental’ café: it had a cake counter, sandwich counter, milk bar, sweets counter as well as a bakery. George Cominos paid the utmost attention to all details creating a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere: cages of birds placed all over the café entertained the customers!

The place was well-known far beyond Cairns for the high standards of food and services as well as for the progressive ideas of its owner. For instance, in 1935 George Cominos installed in the bakery the first electric industrial oven in this part of Australia.

The café served as a venue for many big social functions such as wedding receptions, as well as a rest place for visitors to Cairns. During the Second World War it became a favourite meeting place for Allied service staff based in Far North Queensland.


Discover more