206 Dundas Street, Bowles'Lunch

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15. 206, Dundas Street, Bowles Lunch




Bowles’ Lunch

This building, which was erected in 1928, reflects a commercial architectural style popular in North America in the 1920s. It was built by the restaurant chain Bowles Lunch to catch the theatre crowd from the Allen's (later Capitol) next door and Loew's a few doors west. Bowles' was a less sophisticated and more family-oriented version of the after-theatre restaurants. Other more refined after-theatre restaurants and bars in the downtown included Wong's, Gordon Kent's Silver Dollar restaurant and piano bar, the Iroquois at Clarence and King (famous for their buffet dinners), and the Hotel London's Coral Lounge, which was a somewhat spicier, adults-only venue. These restaurants, bars and lounges followed a tradition started by the dance halls and supper clubs popular during the First World War. Many of the bowling and billiards halls that sprouted at this time were also part of the evening entertainment that was trendy following the Great War.

Bowles operated at this spot from 1928 to about 1940 when the restaurant changed to the Honeydew which operated until the mid-1960s. Many Londoners remember the Honeydew and their particular honey-coloured soda drink which gave the restaurant its name." It was a cheap fast-food place where all the family could eat at affordable prices and where many local teenagers worked in order to make some extra pocket money. Many Londoners also remember Singer Co. sewing machines at 206, Dundas in the 1970s. This was also a time when home makers attempted to save money by sewing their own clothes for their family.

Prior to the building of Bowles Lunch in 1928, 206 Dundas was the site of Greer & Wigmore painters. Mr. Benjamin Watson Greer was one of the foremost personages of the London mercantile class in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Mr. Greer, an Irishman, had immigrated to Canada in 1847 and formed the painting business in 1885. The growth and magnitude of this business is testified to by the popularity of Mr. Greer himself, who was selected to represent his ward in the City Council in 1879 and then again in 1887, this time by acclamation.


206 Dundas Street
London, Ontario
Canada N6A 1G7