WATCH: Reliving the good old days of the Doll House

The Doll House roadhouse steeped in Johannesburg history, famous for its milkshakes and Saturday night road racing in years gone by hosted one last event on 26 August before it closes its doors for good on 31 August.

Residents of Johannesburg came out in their numbers to have one last chance to enjoy the past time of sitting in their cars and eating the scrumptious Dagwoods, Blondies and what was most probably the city’s best chips.

Pamala Anne Laxen, granddaughter of the founders of the Doll House roadhouse came to say goodbye to this part of her life before it closes on August 31st. Photo: Shayne Robinson

Among the visitors on the night was Pamela Anne Laxen, granddaughter of the founders of the Doll House. City Buzz spoke to Laxen about her memories of the roadhouse.

“My grandparents came out from Provo, which is a little town near Salt Lake City in Utah, and there is a Doll House in Salt Lake City,” she said. “So they got together with a few friends and they started a Doll House here. There were seven of them [Doll House] originally, and this was one of them.
“Every Saturday morning I would go out to the Malvern Doll House with my mom and go and get ice-cream. What a terrible childhood I had, forced to grow up with fast food and ice-cream,” she added with a laugh.

Read: The iconic Doll House roadhouse to be demolished

In the 70s and early 80s, the Doll House was very much a part of the party scene in Johannesburg, with youngsters gathering there after a night clubbing in Hillbrow and other Joburg venues. But it was also a part of the everyday culture back then.

“We ate here at least once a week and had ice-cream every night from here as part of our dinner,” said Laxen. “Later on when I was a little older I had to work here for a while, and I got paid the princely sum of R100 a month, and they still had the cheek to take off R20 for food.”

Laxen added that she had not been back to the roadhouse since her family sold it in 1987. “My folks had asked all the children if they wanted it and they offered it to me and I was already in the film industry, so I didn’t want it, so they sold it.”

When asked if it was hard to be there again, on one of the last nights that the Doll House would be around, Laxen said that she had ‘signed off from it’ when the place was originally sold. She admitted, however, that it was quite an occasion to come back just to say goodbye one more time.

Watch the video of the interview:

Shayne Robinson

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