The Block Arcade Ballarat boasts a lot of history.
In the early 1900's it was the site of O'Farrell's horse and livestock bazaar incorporating auctioneers Coles and Pullum Stock and Station Agents , where prominent livestock breeders of the District traded.
Later the area became the Ford sales and service centre , and was owned by the Jermyn Bros. The main entrance was Doveton St continuing through to Armstrong St. and Sturt St.
During the depression in the late 1920's the centre was transformed into a shopping arcade consisting of 28 shops, the arcade was typical of the period with penny slot machines, weighing machine and mirrors accentuating those walking past causing much amusement.
Tenants varied from fish shops, fruit and vegetables, cafes, grocery stores, shoe repairs, engraving, books, comics, fashion and a milliner just to name a few.
The Jermyn family tea rooms was a popular rendezvous for patrons where tea/coffee with a biscuit was threepence (equivalent to 2 cents).
In 1960 the Bunning family purchased The Block Arcade from the Jermyn family deceased estate. A portion was later sold to Myer to expand their store.
At this time the tenants included a cake shop, butcher, hairdresser, books, comics, Myer sports store, Coles garden section. The Bunning Family ran a successful fruit and vegetable shop and a prominent ladies fashion label "Katie Blakely". Then the Arcade became a participating family affair.
In 1966 the fruit and vegetable shop was sold and the family moved into the coffee shop where the Jermyn family Tea Rooms began.
In 2001 Mattelles cafe and catering opened on the same site and is currently operated by 3rd generation Bunning family.