When I was in Leeton for their Art Deco Festival earlier this month I got a tip that nearby Yenda had some Art Deco buildings. It's about a 50 minute drive from Leeton to Yenda which by Australian standards IS nearby although it is closer to Griffith which also has some nice deco and modernist buildings.
I hope you can see why I really, really like the Yenda Cafe. Firstly it has a classic deco element right in the centre of the slightly stepping roofline.Then there is the lettering ... full-on deco and no doubting where in the world we are.
And how about those serations on the top corners. I can't describe them simply as stepping because they are so much more than that. Notice also that the metal rods that hold up the verandah are mounted on a small shield, such attention to detail.
On either side of the door there are these glass display cases. I'd just seen similar but slightly more ornate ones at a shop in Leeton. Both buildings also had the same vents below the front shop windows so perhaps there were designed or built by the same person.
The Yenda Cafe could be a very classy venue in any city in the world so it is a real shame that it is vacant, not looking its best and perhaps with no chance of rehabilitation. Yenda is a small place and I don't know that it can support a cafe or a shop of any kind. There is another vacant deco shop within 50 metres and, no joke, I only saw three people and a small dog. Perhaps everyone else was in the pub watching the footy.
MELBOURNE ART DECO
In 2009 Robin Grow published a book on Melbourne Art Deco, with images largely supplied by David Thompson. The book quickly sold out and he is pleased to say that it has now been re-published by Brolga Press, with updates, errors corrected and a new cover.
Best of all, it is selling for about $25 in the shops and on-line. Art Deco & Modernism Society members can purchase a copy from me for $22, (includes postage within Australia). For overseas orders please email for postage rates. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested, and advise if you would like the book to be dedicated and/or signed.