Australia's first Pizza Hut bulldozed in Belfield

Going high-rise: The original Pizza Hut in Belfield.
Going high-rise: The original Pizza Hut in Belfield. Photo: Quentin Jones

Local fast food historians will be crying in their all-you-can eat salads with news Australia's first Pizza Hut restaurant, in the Sydney suburb of Belfield, has been bulldozed.

Strathfield Council confirmed the old Pizza Hut site will be replaced by a mixed development, which includes 61 apartments.

The demolition site last week.
The demolition site last week. Photo: Megan Johnston

And while there were concerns over parking and traffic, defenders of tiled huts of childhood joy and arguable architectural value appear not to have stepped forward.

Pizza Hut hit Belfield running in 1970, part of a triumvirate – the Ford, Holden and Chrysler food equivalent of Australia's happy meal and spinning bucket generation – all headed for Sydney's west.

While they've all prospered and populated elsewhere, those first gems have disappeared like a chocolate sundae on a Sydney scorcher.

The Punchbowl Road site gutted by fire.
The Punchbowl Road site gutted by fire. Photo: Adrian Greer Michael Short

McDonald's was hot-on-the-heels of Pizza Hut, opening its first Australian store, in Yagoona, in 1971. A Maccas spokeswoman confirmed that location shut and relocated in the mid 1990s.

A KFC spokesperson confirmed its first Australian store, opened in Guildford in 1968, closed in 2009 and relocated to Granville.

A change in Pizza Hut strategy saw some of its locations moved on. Indeed, you'll find everything from the Salvation Army to equipment hire businesses (the Belfield site spent time as a Korean restaurant) occupying them.

The Belfield site starred a minor role in the 1987 arrest of Arthur Stanley (Neddy) Smith for the stabbing murder of a man at Coogee, when police used the carpark to coordinate the stake-out and raid of a home near the restaurant.

In a separate incident five years earlier, the building was gutted by fire.

The pizza curious will find a pin-up of Pizza Hut's architectural style in Windsor.