Drinks trolley by George Freedman, Sydney

Made by Freedman, George in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1988.

The trolley is an example of the work of George Freedman, one of the most influential interior designers to work in Sydney. It is also an artefact of the ‘designer’ restaurant boom of the 1980s.

George Freedman and Tony Bilson were leaders in Sydney design and hospitality. Bilson’s Berowra Waters Inn, designed by Glenn Murcutt during the late 1970s, set the mould for the marriage of creative food in carefully designed settings. Bilson brought this concept to the city in 1982 when he commission...


Object No.


Physical Description

Drinks trolley, steel / glass / Customwood / rubber / granite, Bilson's (Quay) Restaurant, designed and made by George Freedman, Tim Allison and Mark Shamburg, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1988.

A restaurant drinks trolley, comprising a plated steel frame supporting two platforms. The upper platform is glass, the lower is covered with non-slip rubber (usually used for flooring) with a black granite edging. A pair of spoked bicycle wheels with inflatable tyres support the rear of the trolley; the front is supported by a castor concealed by a cylindrical Customwood shield.
At lower rear is an opening Customwood box for openers, discarded corks etc.



960 mm


1180 mm


730 mm



George Freedman (b.1936) grew up in Brooklyn, New York and studied architecture at Syracuse University. During the 1960s he worked as an interior designer for architect Ely Jacques Kahn, whose work spanned the decades from Art Deco to the post-War International Style.

Feedman then worked for Knoll International; in 1969 Knoll sent Freedman to Sydney to design corporate rooms for the Bank of NSW. He stayed in Australia and formed a partnership with Neville Marsh, establishing Marsh Freedman in 1973. Freedman's early work in Sydney was mainly commissioned by corporate customers but he quickly established a reputation and wide connections. During the 1980s Freedman became a Sydney celebrity for his designs for Kinselas and Bilson's restaurants; other Freedman restaurant projects included Chez Oz and Senso Unico. From 1986 to 1988 Freedman supervised the interior design of the Powerhouse Museum.

In partnership with Ralph Rembel as Freedman Rembel, Freedman's recent projects have included the refurbishment of the Queen Victoria Building, Sydney, and set designs for the Sydney Dance Company. This partnership was dissolved during 2010, when Freedman joined PTW Architects.


Freedman, George 1988



In 1988 Tony Bilson opened an a la carte restaurant in the newly renovated Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay West. Aimed at a more affluent and touristic market than Bilson's previous projects, the new restaurant was designed by George Freedman.

The drinks trolley was designed and used at Bilson's and in its later incarnation as Quay restaurant.


Credit Line

Gift of Andrew Shapiro, 2009

Acquisition Date

25 November 2009

Cite this Object


Drinks trolley by George Freedman, Sydney 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 November 2018, <https://ma.as/402269>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/402269 |title=Drinks trolley by George Freedman, Sydney |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 November 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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