A sign writer working on a North Albury shopfront asked the owner for a cash advance so he could take a break and grab a drink.
"I reckon about six or eight times I had to give him some money," Harry Bakouris remembered this week.
"He nearly got half or more of it before he finished the job."
But Mr Bakouris did end up getting his money's worth as Harry's Fish Shop became a name known on Mate Street for six decades.
The business closed late last year when its present owners, the Haifa family, decided to focus on their other venture, Jan's Cafe on Wagga Road.
As founder Mr Bakouris felt some sadness the cafe that still bore his name had shut its doors after so long.
"I've got good memories in here," he said as he looked in the window.
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After arriving in Australia from Greece in 1954, Mr Bakouris worked seven jobs in four years before becoming a business owner himself.
"I worked Nowra NSW, Tarcutta, Holbrook, Benalla, Wangaratta," he said.
"Jobs were plenty so I thought to myself, let's see how everybody does it, so I learned a lot."
Between 1958 and 1975, Mr Bakouris ran Harry's Fish Shop, supported by his wife Angela and proud of their freshly cooked fish.
Schoolchildren used to queue up for sixpence worth of chips in the early days and the shop remained a longtime student favourite.
The founder recalls Harry's younger customers with laughter, but admits counter mesh was sometimes needed to reduce lolly theft.
"This kid, he was too clever, he got a pencil and he used to lift up the chocolates and drag them out," Mr Bakouris said.
"He still remembers that."
Mr Bakouris had intended to retire when he sold the shop to two Greek families, but then ended up running other businesses in Albury and Wodonga.
Sam Haifa, whose grandparents took over Harry's about 35 years ago, said the name became part of the tradition.
"Everyone just knew it as Harry's," he said.
"Everyone was just, like, after school, 'Let's go to Harry's'."
The final owners knew a long history had ended when Harry's Fish Shop closed.
"Nothing really stays forever, but it was a good run," Mr Haifa said.