Staff offer friendly service in traditional costume and are part of the wunderbar atmosphere created by wood carvings, cuckoo clocks, and curiosities from yesteryear. See if you can find the swordfish ‘sword’! Boasting the largest free standing operational cuckoo clock in the world the tics won’t toc as the weights would knock you out!
Lunch : 7 days a week – 11:30am – 3:30pm
Dinner : Friday, Saturday & Sunday – 6:30pm to late
Afternoon Tea : Saturday & Sunday 3:30pm – 5:30pm
A humble start, Quamby Cafe 1914.
Attracting visitors from far and wide, 1922.
It is hard to believe that this buzzing 450 seat family restaurant started out as a modest refreshment stop for travellers. Called the Quamby and built in 1914, the café operated for 44 years and is remembered fondly for its fresh strawberries and cream sold at just 6d. per dish.
In 1958 the Quamby was sold to Willi and Karin Koeppen. Shortly after they moved in, Karin heard the sound of a cuckoo calling in the darkness. She woke her husband and said “We will call the café The Cuckoo”. What Karin did not realise at the time is that the word cuckoo can also mean a bit crazy. Although she had some reservations about this in the early days, the quirky and highly amusing Bavarian style floorshow has warmed hearts from all over the world in the unique “Cuckoo” way.
Cuckoo Restaurant in the 1960’s.
Cuckoo Restaurant circa 1970.
The smorgasbord style restaurants were very popular in Germany in the 1950’s. German born Willi, who had spent some years in Germany as a chef created the first smorgasbord restaurant here in Australia.
The family has worked hard since to build the Cuckoo into what it is today one of Australia’s most successful restaurants, with 450 seats in three separate dining areas – a place for all to enjoy.
Willi Koeppen was a pioneer in bringing food to television well before anyone had heard of MasterChef. At the time Executive Chef at Melbourne’s Chevron Hotel, his first foray into the media world was with radio station 3XY, where he hosted a popular German show.
In 1957, Koeppen hosted what was Australia’s first TV cooking program, The Chef Presents. The five-minute program, expanding to a 15 minute slot by 1959 at Melbourne’s HSV7, screened every Monday night leading into the evening news bulletin.