In 1889 Mrs B. Thrapeous opened an oyster saloon in High Street Northcote. It was the height of the oyster craze in Australia. In Melbourne at the time there were over 60 oyster saloons operating, making them, briefly, more popular and successful than hotels. Oysters were praised for the medicinal value and their cheapness and ready availability.
An advertisement in the newspaper at the time of opening read: "Mrs Thrapeous begs to inform the inhabitants of Northcote and Preston that she has opened an oyster saloon and hopes to receive a measure of support from the public." Mrs Thrapeous was offering not only oysters but frsh fish of every kind, fresh fruit and confectionary.
Thrapeous' Oyster Saloon was used as a meeting place, the Northcote Star Cricket Club, having their annual meeting there in September 1889 but the craze for oysters was beginning to fade as the oyster beds became exhausted and the cost of oysters began to rise. By 1891 Thrapeous' was out of business and oyster saloons began to disappear all around the country.
Blainey, Geoffrey (2004). Black kettle and full moon : daily life in vanished Australia. Camberwell: Penguin Books.
Membrey, Brian (2003)? The pubs, the parks and the Rose. Unpublished manuscript.
Sands and McDougall’s Melbourne and Suburban Directory 1864- 1974. [Microfiche]. (1974). Melbourne, Australia: Sands & McDougall.