O'Donnell, Mietta


45 ms. boxes + flat items (8.3 m.)..
Comprises correspondence, diaries, brochures, clippings, programmes, magazines, photographs, greeting cards, certificates, menus, recipes and architectural drawings and plans relating to Mietta's restaurants in North Fitzroy and Alfred Place, and the career of Mietta O'Donnell. Menus, programmes and clippings are numerous in the collection, revealing the food which was served at Mietta's, the shows which took place there, and media coverage of the restaurant and its proprietors. Also, the planning issues faced by Mietta O'Donnell and Tony Knox are apparent (including the renovation of a heritage building, a dispute over a nearby hotel development, and the subsequent redevelopment of Mietta's building), as is Mietta O'Donnell's passion for food, the city of Melbourne, the Arts, architecture and urban planning.
Mietta O'Donnell trained as a journalist and travelled before she and her partner Tony Knox opened Mietta's restaurant in North Fitzroy in 1974. It was one of Melbourne's early BYO restaurants and its menu was frequently described as adventurous. In 1978, Tony, Mietta and Mietta's sisters Patricia and Robin purchased and renovated the Queenscliff Hotel. Later, in 1984, Mietta and Tony bought the old Naval and Military Club building at 7 Alfred Place, Melbourne. They subsequently renovated it and moved Mietta's there. Mietta's Melbourne Hotel became one of Melbourne's finest restaurants with a grand dining room upstairs, while the lounge below was used as a venue for musical and theatrical shows. In the late 1980s Mietta and Tony battled the Oakford group's plans to build a $94 million hotel complex next door to Mietta's. In 1992 they entered receivership but emerged later the same year, and by 1996 Mietta's had closed and its contents were to be auctioned. Mietta O'Donnell was the maternal grand daughter of Mario Vigano who arrived in Melbourne in 1928, established Mario's restaurant at the top of Bourke Street, and played a major part in changing Melbourne's cuisine during the 1940s and 1950s.
Original ms., typescript, printed, photographs, clippings.
Available for reference.
Descriptive list available.

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