Quong Tart's Tea Rooms
Mei Quong Tart (1850-1903) was a Chinese immigrant who became a merchant, importer and philanthropist.
Quong Tart commenced business in the Sydney Arcade in 1881. Initially he had a tea and silk shop, followed by a tea shop where he provided free samples. It was the popularity of this venture that caused him to open tea rooms.
By 1885 he had 4 locations and large offices in Sydney Arcade. By 1899, 29 Sydney Arcade was known as "The Central" and 50 Sydney Arcade was known as "The Cosy".
He commenced in the Royal Arcade 1884/1885. By 1899, 15 Royal Arcade was known as "The Gem".
In 1886 he opened refreshment rooms at 777 George Street, near the Hay Market. He refurbished them in 1891 and closed them 7 years later when moving to the Queen Victoria Building.
He also established tea rooms in the pavilion at Zoological Gardens from 1886 to 1891.
In December 1889 he opened an elaborate restaurant at 137 King Street and this became his 'headquarters' until 1900. Known as the Loong Shan Tea Rooms they operated until 1900. They were the most opulent of the tea rooms and included a ground floor for men, a first floor for women and a top floor for weddings, parties and large social gatherings.
At some point he also had tea rooms in the Hordern's buildings on Pitt Street.
On 5 December 1898 Quong Tart opened the Elite Dining Room and tea rooms in the Queen Victoria Markets (Queen Victoria Building), which proved to be highly popular. The tea room was on George Street on the ground floor and upstairs was the Elite Dining Hall with a capacity for over 500 people. There also was a “central depot” at shop 15 and 16 at the Queen Victoria Markets.
Quong Tart was attacked in his Queen VIctoria Building Office in August 1902 and died the following year. The Elite Dining Hall and tea rooms in the QVB continued until 1905.
CollectionChinese Community in SydneySydney BusinessesQueen Victoria Building (QVB)
Letter - Complaint that verandah awning only protects one window of shop, Queen Victoria Markets, 1899
Letter - Tender received by Quong Tart & Co Tea Merchants to lease shop 15 & 16, Queen Victoria Markets, 1898
File - Request for reduction of rent of premises 15, 16 and Elite Hall, Queen Victoria Building, 1901