Situated at 242 High Street, the Dainty Inn first opened in 1940 as a “milk bar and quick lunch business”. It was later purchased by James Michael Curnow (1922-2014) who ran it for 28 years. His recollections feature in Remembering Christchurch. Although it was not the only milk bar on High Street (the other being the Milky Way), part of its attraction was a pulley system which took orders to the kitchen. The business closed in 1989.
This store advertised itself as “The busy booksellers, stationers and printers “. Envelopes, writing paper, pen and ink were provided free. Stamps could be purchased here, as could postcards of local and New Zealand views, magazines, etc.
The business had its origins in a printing and stationery firm, founded in 1862 by J.T. Hughes which, in 1878, was purchased by Alfred Simpson and J.S. Williams. The store remained in operation until 1972, with the printing business closing in the following year.
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Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.