Goodbye Junction Cafe

A favourite cafe of mine in Gore is closing on Saturday and I’ll miss it. The only cafe in town that’s on first floor level, it has great views onto the street and I like to buy chocolate lamingtons there. The staff had just got used to how I like my lamington – straight from the fridge please with no cream. The lamingtons tasted wonderful – fine sponge inside coated in chocolate icing and sprinkled all over with coconut. Unlike other lamingtons these days, these tasted just how I remember them from when I was a kid.

Gore, Southland, New Zealand

Junction Cafe, Gore

The cafe is on the first floor of H & J Smiths department store. The company started out as a drapery store in Invercargill in 1900. The Gore branch opened in 1905 and built their current store in 1913.

What they’re doing is closing the top floor. After the Christmas trading period they’ll move the soft furnishings and home linen departments to the ground floor. The store will still be carrying on albeit with no in-store cafe.

Today I had a chocolate milkshake with ice-cream. I was delighted with the colourful stripes on the container! No lamington because they’re running down their stocks and lamingtons had already run out ages ago. All photos taken today.


Its a really lovely light and airy room; especially nice in winter when sunshine is streaming into the room.


View down onto the main street from a window in Junction Cafe. See the old porridge factory over to the right in the background. Down below, you can see Gore still has the wonderful old-fashioned yellow globe lights for its pedestrian crossing. The street plantings are well maintained by Gore District Council.


H & J Smiths building from the other side of Main Street. Those are all Junction Cafe windows on the top floor.


The pedestrian crossing leads straight to H & J Smiths front entrance


Text and Photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2018)


23 thoughts on “Goodbye Junction Cafe

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  1. We were in Gore yesterday … it would have been nice to go to the upstairs as we always did, but times move on. Good photo catches, I must have a wee rabbit through my own (oodles of) and see what I might resurrect. (Clue: don’t wait up …)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like a nice place to sit with a coffee – hope something else opens up for you. BTW, we have the Belisha Beacons here too, just on the main road near us.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure that there are many but the crossing near our house has them. Most crossings have the push-buttons to stop the traffic, so I guess the beacons are used where they don’t want to put traffic lights. There’s a couple of other sets of them down nearer the town centre too.

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  3. Those Belisha Beacons are sure a thing of the past! Gore looks like a typical NZ town, and there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned department store.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the comment Jane, I’d never heard them called Belisha Beacons so I’ve quickly had to update myself via the internet. How interesting! Gore and Milton still have these lovely old-fashioned ones. Balclutha did a street upgrade quite recently so they’ve modernised to what I assume are LED ones, they’re actually a nice design too. Since the 1990s there’s been an alternative of using a 400mm diameter fluorescent orange disk but it not nearly as good as an illuminated sign.


  4. Just exactly where you want to while away a cozy hour while the rain taps on the window and you sip your coffee and recall childhood when a treasured treat added colour to everything that felt grey. P.S. I love how spotless the street is, I just walked to work this morning and it was like an assault course challenge; a skip over the poop, a hop over the trash and a jump away from the rat. Keeps me fit, I guess!! Have a lovely weekend my dears

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I loved it! I want the duffel bag and one of the umbrellas from the beautiful artwork, such glorious and meticulous detail! I would also like to live in a 1950’s black and white world, where they thought the final war was done and all we would need forever after would be a thrift store and a Sunday stroll.

        Liked by 1 person

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