Closed down KFC stores of Melbourne

There is something about the architecture of KFC fast food restaurants – you can spot them from a mile away. So what happens when they close down, and how have they changed over the years?

Abandoned KFC fast food restaurant in Morwell

A few years ago I stumbled on a Kentucky Fried Chicken advertisement from 1982, that listed all 35 restaurants scattered around Melbourne, as well as the three in Geelong.

In the years since, some didn’t change at all – the store in Ashburton went almost untouched until it was demolished in 2009.

KFC restaurant - Cnr High Street & Carool Road, Ashburton, Victoria

The same applies to the store in Newport, which closed down by the Google Street View came past in 2007.

KFC restaurant - 450 Melbourne Road, Newport, Victoria in 2007

Others have just received new KFC branding over the original building, the the KFC in Highett.

KFC restaurant - 1121 Nepean Highway, Highett, Victoria

However not all stores have survived, such as the original KFC at Frankston, which became a Mexican restaurant.

KFC restaurant - 14 Beach Street, Frankston, Victoria

Up in Ferntree Gully a succession of different restaurants have occupied the former KFC.

Former KFC restaurant - 930 Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully, Victoria

In Thornbury the KFC moved to a new store next door, with the old building being split into two, with Subway and Cheesecake Shop moving in.

KFC restaurant - 389 St Georges Road, Thornbury, Victoria

However the strangest conversion was in Seaford, where a dry cleaner took over the tiny take-away only Kentucky Fried Chicken store.

KFC restaurant - 109 Nepean Highway, Seaford, Victoria

The full list

Here is the full list of KFC stores from the 1982 advertisement:

  • Cnr High St & Carool Road, Ashburton
  • Cnr Burwood & Albert Roads, Auburn
  • 289 Carlisle Street, Balaclava
  • 129a High Street, Belmont
  • 845 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill
  • 460 Geelong Road, Brooklyn
  • Cnr Centre Road & Audsley Street, Clayton
  • 137 Bell Street, Coburg
  • 29 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong
  • Cnr Darcy & Doncaster Roads, Doncaster
  • Cnr Bell & Albert Streets, East Preston
  • 1293 Sydney Road, Fawkner
  • 930 Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully
  • 281 Smith Street, Fitzroy
  • 368 Barkly Street, Footscray
  • 14 Beach Street, Frankston
  • 257 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley
  • Cnr Lower Heidelberg Road & Villa Street, Heidelberg
  • 1121 Nepean Highway, Highett
  • Cnr High & Derby Streets, Kew
  • 157 Nepean Highway, Mentone
  • Cnr Mt Alexander Road & Hall Street, Moonee Ponds
  • 450 Melbourne Road, Newport
  • 91a Keilor Road, Niddrie
  • 431 Princes Highway, Noble Park
  • 217 Melbourne Road, North Geelong
  • Cnr Varman Court & Whitehorse Road, Nunawading
  • 638 North Road, Ormond
  • 379 Chapel Street, Prahran
  • Cnr High & Lemington Street, Reservoir
  • 387 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood
  • Cnr Sans Street & Beach Road, Sandringham
  • 109 Nepean Highway, Seaford
  • Cnr Dandenong & Police Roads, Springvale
  • Cnr Princes Highway & St Georges Road, Corio
  • 429a Ballarat Road, Sunshine
  • 389 St Georges Road, Thornbury
  • Cnr Boronia & Wantirna Roads, Wantirna

More photos can be found on Flickr.


The abandoned KFC restaurant pictured at the top of the page is located on Princes Drive in Morwell – it doesn’t feature in the above list.

Melbourne Metro tunnel mentioned in Playboy

When you think of Playboy magazine, you normally think of nudie pictures, and not diagrams of major infrastructure projects – but for April Fools’ Day in 2015 their website turned up the latter.

Tunnels at the Playboy mansion

Titled ‘So, There Were Tunnels to Celebrity Homes Below the Playboy Mansion’, plenty of news outlets picked up the story and didn’t question it, but others said the tunnels were too good to be true.

I’m a sucker for stories about tunnels, so I kept reading, until I reached a schematic diagram of the supposed tunnel beneath the Playboy mansion.

Tunnels at the Playboy mansion - schematic diagram

It was then a strong feeling of deja vu hit me – I could have sworn I’d seen a identical tunnel profile diagram somewhere else.

Tunnels at the Playboy mansion - full size schematic diagram

A few years ago I found a diagram of the proposed Melbourne Metro tunnel profile beneath Swanston Street and posted it online, so I dug it out again.

Proposed Melbourne Metro tunnel profile beneath Swanston Street

Do you see the similarity?

A check of the diagram featured in the Playboy article showed plenty of detail.

Tunnels at the Playboy mansion - notes on the schematic diagram

Detail that was almost identical to the original Melbourne Metro rail tunnel diagram, other than the mentions of Melbourne.

East-West Rail Link Analysis on Rail Capacity - tunnel profile notes

So how did a diagram of the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel end up in Playboy? I’m guessing the staff behind the prank hit up Google Image Search for a diagram that matched the look and feel they were looking for, then used it as a basis for their artwork.

Note that version of the tunnel diagram is 3000 pixels across, which is three times as large as the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel diagram that I originally shared – in all, some pretty clever work from the team at Playboy.


Playboy set the record straight on the tunnels a few days later, with an ‘April Fools!’ message from Hugh Hefner.

As to the original Melbourne Metro diagram, the notes on the bottom indicated that it was produced by two staff from Maunsell Australia Pty Ltd (now AECOM) – J. King and C. Stout. Both can now add ‘published in Playboy’ to their resume!

All aboard the wedding express!

If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been a bit quiet recently, it is because I just got married. Can you spot the railway lines in the background?

Wedding by the Maribyrnong River

For those playing at home, the venue was the Footscray Community Arts Centre – the disused Maribyrnong River goods line can be found in the background, as can the mainline railway that links Melbourne to Sydney and Adelaide.

Still on the subject of weddings

Back in August 2013 I attended a wedding held onboard a train – given the bride and groom met through the railway preservation movement, it was the perfect setting for the couple.

D3 639 beside the wedding guests at Maldon

Held on the Victorian Goldfields Railway that runs between Castlemaine and Maldon, century-old steam locomotive D3 639 lead the train carrying the wedding party and guests.

Wedding charter train sits in the platform at Maldon

Coincidentally this isn’t the first time D3 639 has been part of a bridal party – on 18 November 1967 it led a train from Thornbury to Spencer Street Station for the wedding of another railway enthusiast: Weston Langford.

Wedding train, VR Newsletter January 1968

Fifty years on, the Southern Aurora is no longer an option for the honeymooners to head to Sydney, but hopefully the model of locomotive B74 in cake form made up for it.

Locomotive B74 in cake form

Cutaway views of Epping-Chatswood line stations

When I visited Sydney a few years ago, I paid a visit to their then-newest railway line – the Epping-Chatswood link. Running the entire way in tunnels between said stations, the line has three intermediate stations, all located deep underground: North Ryde, Macquarie Park, and Macquarie University. So how do passengers reach them?

Platform 5 at Epping station

At street level entrance are these modern looking glass clad structures.

Street level entrance to North Ryde station

Inside two separate flights of escalators head below ground.

Two flights of escalators from ground level to the underground concourse

Once reaching the bottom, the booking office and ticket machine can be found.

Booking office and ticket gates at North Ryde station

Once you head through the ticket gates, you are now above the platform itself.

Concourse level walkways above the platform at North Ryde station

Down below trains run either side of the island platform.

Passengers wait for an up train at Macquarie University station

A pair of escalators link it to the concourse, along with a lift for the mobility impaired.

Train arrives at North Ryde station

Finally, a set of stairs at the far end of the concourse provide an additional way to access the platforms.

Up train picks up passengers at North Ryde station

In all a very elegant design by architect Hassell.

Digging a bit deeper

In their piece on the 2010 Australia Architecture Awards, ArchitectureWeek magazine had the following to say on the project:

The Epping to Chatswood Rail Link expands the CityRail commuter rail line in the northern suburbs of Sydney. As part of the A$2.35 billion project, Hassell designed the three new intermediate stations, at Macquarie University, Macquarie Park, and North Ryde, each about 5,000 square meters (54,000 square feet) in size.

A curved glazed pavilion at the surface serves as the entry to each station. From there, travelers descend 25 meters (82 feet) by stair, elevator, and escalator to reach the passenger concourse.

The transparent louvered cladding of the pavilions directs controlled daylight to the concourse level below. With ticketing and amenities deep underground, a single employee can manage the station from a central location. The design also achieves efficiencies by ventilating public areas with train movement.

Below ground, the vaulted forms of the twin caverns reflect the self-stabilizing method of their construction in sandstone, with an asymmetrical cross-section that minimized costly excavation. The station’s simple organization facilitates wayfinding, with the continuous curve of the cavern soffit describing an intuitive route to the surface.

“The entire project presents a remarkable clarity,” commended the jury. “The lasting memory of the [project] is the clever movement through powerful contiguous space.”

They also included two diagrams – the first an axonometric cut away of Macquarie Park station. It shows how the paired escalator adits meet at concourse level, before leading into the walkway cantilevered above the island platform; as well as the ventilation structures and emergency exit found at each end of the platform.

Macquarie Park station - axonometric cut away diagram

The second diagram is a cross section, showing the relationship between concourse and platform, and the previously mentioned asymmetrical cavern at platform level.

Macquarie Park station - cross section diagram

Further reading

Roundabout to nowhere in Sunshine West

I was out in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine West the other week when I found a roundabout to nowhere – with only one road in and one road out, there is no reason at all for it to exist!

Roundabout to nowhere - Link Road and Wright Street, Sunshine West, Victoria

Located in the middle of open parkland that also serves as a transmission line corridor, here is the roundabout on Google Maps.

Roundabout to nowhere - Link Road and Wright Street, Sunshine West, Victoria

This is the view from Wright Street on the eastern side .

Roundabout to nowhere - Wright Street, Sunshine West, Victoria

And from Link Road to the south.

Roundabout to nowhere - Link Road, Sunshine West, Victoria

If you go all the way back to 1966, Edition 1 of the Melway shows that Wright Street never went this far west.

Melway Map 40, Edition 1, 1966

But by Edition 26 in 1999 Wright Street now terminated at a dead end beneath the transmission line corridor.

Melway Map 40, Edition 26, 1999

One can assume the roundabout was added when Link Road was constructed in the early 2000s, when it was intended for the road to continue further north, but the extension fell through.


The open space through Sunshine West and Ardeer was originally intended to be used by a freeway – these plans were abandoned in the 1990s, and replaced by the current Western Ring Road alignment.