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The iconic Politis Milk Bar in Betoota’s Flight Path District has been an institution of extremely strong coffee and $2 scratchies since the late 1960s.
The family business is still run by the first Greeks to set up shop in the light industrial suburb, after landing in Brisbane from Kythira following the conclusion of World War II.
Thousands of other families later joined them in the area and went on to set up very similar businesses selling very similar things, but marketed slightly differently.
For example, the Comino family claims that they actually run a fish and chip shop, despite only stocking Chiko rolls and Mrs Mac pies in a bain-marie for the last 30 years.
The Georgios family claim that their shop is a news-agency, even though they only stock the Courier Mail and the Betoota Advocate’s Sunday edition.
Basically, all seventeen Greek family businesses in the main drag of Helenic boulevard only make their money selling the same exact shit: Lotto tickets, scratchies, coffee and cigarettes – with the occasional milkshake.
However, it goes without saying all of these shops have been modelled off the patriarchal Seve Politis, who still works behind the counter of his milk bar on Sundays, or whenever else he reckons he’s gonna stumble across some gossip.
As is acknowledged by most local historians, the Betoota hospitality and retail sector were revolutionised the day Mr Politis capitalised on the assassination of JFK by lying to the local bank manager about being Catholic in order to get approval for a loan to buy the now heritage-listed shopfront.
And aside from the fact that the Turnbull government brought in regulations that prevented them from charging customers for using the eft-pos machine that they would prefer you didn’t know about – fuck all has changed in that time.
Even down to the fact that Uncle Seve still blatantly smokes cigarettes behind counter, in a flagrant disregard of the Queensland Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act of 1998.
His willingness to sell soda bulbs and other legally grey products to local teenagers has also earned him godfather status outside the Greek community for generations, as well as his broken English attempts at swearing for comedic shock factor.
In fact, the only thing to change in this shop is Uncle Seve’s political views, particularly regarding New Australians and tax reform.
At time of press, Seve Politis had a lot to say about bloody Bill Shorten, and fuck all to say about how wet it is outside.
Even with this nuclear climate-change-confirming downpour across Queensland and New South Wales – it’s not like he hasn’t seen anything like this before, so don’t bother mentioning it. It’s of no interest.
That Bill Shorten, though.