Historic Hotels | Northern Melbourne

This list of hotels in the inner-northern area of Melbourne focuses on hotels which are still active, although some defunct hotels are listed if they have historical significance.

Inspired by the work of Robert K. Cole (born 1906), a Melbourne historian of hotels and brewing, who undertook extensive research on the licencees of Melbourne's hotels, circa 1841 to 1949.

Brunswick & surrounds


Caledonian Hotel - Located at 211 Weston Street, Brunswick East. This grand hotel is a curious find hidden in the back streets of Brunswick East. It has now been turned into apartments, but is listed in the 1998 Melway as still being a hotel. It was first built in 1866 and named Caledonia Hotel, licensed to David Hetherington, a single-storey bluestone hotel to service the nearby quarries. It was rebuilt in 1925. It was rumoured to be a den of SP bookmakers and sly grog sales.

Cornish Arms Hotel is located on Sydney Road, Brunswick opened in 1854.

Cumberland Arms Hotel is located at 337-341 Sydney Road, Brunswick opened in 1858 on a site that was formerly a tent market for prospectors on their way to the diggings during the Victorian gold rush. The first licensee was Thomas Martin, who also owned the adjoining brickworks.

The East Hotel - is located on the north-east corner of Lygon Street and Albert Street, Brunswick East was built in 1888, during the land-boom in the area, and licensed to Henry Volkmer. It was originally known as the East Brunswick Club Hotel. It is a grand three-storey building.

Quarry Hotel is located on the north-west corner of Weston Street and Lygon Street, Brunswick East was built in 1857 by Northcote resident Horace Bastings, to cater to the workers in the quarries, which once dominated the landscape of Brunswick East. The current building was constructed in the 1920s. The hotel was purchased by Jetax in May 1997.

Lomond Hotel is located on the north-west corner of Nicholson Street and Blyth Street, Brunswick East opened in 1888 as the Albert Hotel (after Prince Albert), and was renamed Lomond Hotel in the 1930s. At the time of its construction, the area was sparsely populated, however a land-boom was quickly sweeping the area. Early patrons came from the nearby Butler's Brickyards. Its proximity to the new studios of 3RRR may have an interesting effect on it. Time will tell.

Retreat Hotel is located at 280 Sydney Road, Brunswick. It was the first hotel to open in Brunswick, in October 1842, as the Retreat Inn, licensed to Miss Amelia Shaw. It had a weighbridge on its premises, allowing bullock-drivers to quench their thirst whilst their wagons were weighed. It was rebuilt in 1892 and renamed The Retreat Hotel.

Sarah Sands Hotel is located on the north-west corner of Sydney Road and Brunswick Road, Brunswick. It opened on 12 December 1854. The first licensee was Robert Barry, who named the hotel after the ship the SS Sarah Sands, which itself was named after the wife of the mayor of Liverpool. Whilst some believe Barry arrived in Australia aboard this ship, others cite the fact that Barry borrowed money to build the hotel from Charles Sands, who was possibly a partner in the company which built the ship. The year 1846 is listed on the hotel, creating the misleading impression that the hotel preceeded the Retreat Hotel, yet the date refers to the year the SS Sarah Sands was launched. Reconstruction occurred in 1872, the verandah was added in 1906 and removed in 1966. In July 1997 the hotel was bought by the current licensees, Perrin Pty Ltd, and renamed Bridie O'Reilly Hotel, part of a chain of Irish themed establishments.

Collingwood & Abbotsford


Albion Hotel is located on the north-east corner of Smith Street and Perry Street, Collingwood.

Baden Powell Hotel is located on the north-east corner of Victoria Parade and Cambridge Street, Collingwood.

Bendigo Hotel is located on the south-east corner of Johnston Street and Dight Street, Collingwood.

British Crown Hotel is located on the north-east corner of Smith Street and Mason Street, Collingwood. It was opened in 1861 by James Cattach. It has also been known as Roberts Hotel.

Currys Family Hotel is located on the north-east corner of Wellington Street and Hotham Street, Collingwood. It has also been named Currys Hotel.

Gasometer Hotel is located on the south-east corner of Smith Street and Alexandra Parade, Collingwood.

Grace Darling Hotel is located on the north-east corner of Smith Street and Peel Street. It was built in 1854, and designed by prominent Melbourne architect George Wharton. It is one of the only remaining goldrush-era hotels in inner Melbourne. It is constructed of bluestone and brick. In the era in which it was built, most of the surrounding buildings were constructed of wood. The property was owned by the Risby family from 1852 to 1870. In 1892 a meeting was held at the hotel by the Collingwood Football Club, at which it was decided to form a club to play in the new Victorian Football League.

Leinster Arms Hotel is located on the north-east corner of Hotham Street and Gold Street, Collingwood. The 1986 film Malcolm used the hotel for its pub scenes.

Tower Hotel is located on the south-west corner of Wellington Street and Alexandra Parade, Collingwood. The hotel was until recently known as the Office Inn.

Prince Patrick Hotel is located on the north-east corner of Victoria Parade and Rokeby Street, Collingwood. It was originally known as the Lancashire Arms Hotel, and opened by Richard Taylor in 1865. It has also been named the Galatea Hotel. In 1883 it was taken over by Jane Macauley and named the Prince Patrick. During the 1980s it became a popular venue for stand-up comedy.

Robert Burns Hotel is located on the south-east corner of Smith Street and Easey Street, Collingwood. It was established by Samuel Moore in 1861.

Sir Robert Peel Hotel is located on the north-east corner of Wellington Street and Peel Street, Collingwood. It was established in 1858 by John Thomas Wood, who also ran the Swan Hotel on the north-east corner of Gertrude Street and Napier Street. It is also known as the Peel Hotel, and is a popular venue for the area's gay community.

The Tote Hotel is located at the south-west corner of Johnston Street and Wellington Street, Collingwood. A dairy originally occupied the land, until a hotel was built. In the early 1870s a hotel existed on the site called Healys Hotel. In 1876 the Ivanhoe Hotel was established. In 1911 the current building was constructed, and in the early 1980s the name was changed to The Tote. The name is possibly taken from 'totalisator', after the illegal gambling establishment located nearby. The hotel was rumoured to be the command centre of Melbourne criminal identity John Wren, popularised in Frank Hardy's novel Power Without Glory. According to local legend, Wren had secret tunnels leading from the hotel to bookmaking office. The current tenants of The Tote are awaiting a government grant to undertake excavations. Some historians, such as James Griffith, have denied that this was the case. The hotel is also rumoured to have a ghost which appears on the staircase landing. Today it is a popular live-music venue.

The Vine Hotel is located on the south-west corner of Wellington Street and Derby Street, Collingwood. It was established in December 1868 by Samuel Simpson, and originally known as the Caledonian Hotel. In 1869 it was taken over by Richard Hardman, who renamed it Eight Hours Hotel, in honour of the eight hour movement. It was renamed the Vine Hotel in on 14 August 1872 by its new owner John McCage.

Fitzroy & Fitzroy North


Belvidere Hotel was located on the north-west corner of Brunswick Street and Victoria Parade. It was likely designed by Joseph Burns and built by Thomas McClelland between 1854 and 1856, and is one of the only surviving hotels from the pre-goldrush era. In the late 1850s it provided a meeting place for trade unionists campaigning for the eight hour day. These campaigners became known as 'Belviderites', after the hotel in which they met. It was later renamed Eastern Hill Hotel, and is now a part of the St. Vincents Hosptial complex.

Champion Hotel is located on the south-east corner of Gertrude Street and Brunswick Street. During the late '70s and early '80s, it was a popular venue for the Little band scene. A 7" single by the Primitive Calculators was recorded live at the Champion in 1979. Today it is a carpet and rug outlet. A photo from 1975.

Commercial Club Hotel is located on Nicholson Street and Westgarth Street. It was opened in 1854 by Thomas McClelland, and originally called the Belvidere Hotel. At various times, it has also been called Hotel De Roma, Commercial Hotel, Family Hotel, and Castle Inn Hotel. It was named the Commercial Club Hotel in 1918.

Devonshire Arms Hotel was located on Fitzroy Street, south of Gertrude Street. It opened in 1843, and although ceases to operate as a hotel, is currently Fitzroy's oldest survivng building. It is also Melbourne's oldest known extant hotel. The hotel was erected and owned for 50 years by local entrepreneur Francis Clarke. Clarke had arrived in Melbourne in 1840, and became manager of James Palmer's lemonade & soda factory. He opened a butcher's shop near the corner of Bourke Street and Elizabeth Street in 1845, and later another shop in Richmond. He bought speculative property around Fitzroy and Alphington, and lived a prosperous life. Although he hailed from Essex, the hotel was given the name Devonshire Arms, owing to the pre-goldrush population of the area being principally from the south-west England. It is now part of St Vincents Hospital.

Empress of India Hotel is located on the south-east corner of Nicholson Street and Schotchmer Street in Fitzroy North. It was opened in 1877 by John Bourke, and named in honour of Queen Victoria, who had been proclaimed the Empress of India on 1 January 1877. During the late twentieth century it was popular with workers from the nearby North Fitzroy Tram Depot (now a National Bus Company depot). It is now known as the Empress Hotel, and is a popular live-music venue.

Evelyn Hotel is located on the corner of Brunswick Street and Kerr Street. It was opened in 1857 by John Hayward, and was originally called the Calthorpe Hotel. In 1869 it became the Young Australian Hotel, and in 1872, the Evelyn.

Labour In Vain Hotel is located on Brunswick Street opened between 1849 and 1853 by Geroge Hyde.

Lord Newry Hotel is located on the corner of Brunswick Street and Newry Street. It was opened in 1866 by John Cook.

Marquis of Lorne Hotel is located at the corner of Kerr Street and George Street. It takes its name from John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, the Marquis of Lorne, and later, Duke of Argyll. It was opened in 1873 by K. Forsyth.

The Napier Hotel is located at the corner of Napier Street and Moor Street. It was opened in 1866 by M. J. Lever.

North Fitzroy Arms Hotel is located at the north-east corner of Rae Street and Reid Street in Fitzroy North. It was opened in 1874 by Francis Healey.

Parkview Hotel is located at the corner of St Georges Road and Scotchmere Street, in Fitzroy North. It was opened by Frederick Warming in 1873.

Perseverance Hotel is located at the corner of Brunswick Street and Moor Street. It was opened by Stephen Richard Church in October 1865. In 1868 it was taken over by Martha Morris, who renamed it Roserea Hotel. At some point it reverted back to its original name.

Railway Hotel is located on Nicholson Street, near the corner of Liverpool Street, in Fitzroy North. It was named for its proximity to the North Fitzroy Railway Station. It was opened in 1875 by John F. Casey.

The Rainbow Hotel is located at the corner of David Street and Young Street.

Rob Roy Hotel is located on the corner of Brunswick Street and Gertrude Street. It was built in 1857 by Henry McGregor, who had arrived in Victoria in 1844. He had been the first man to volunteer and serve under Captian Dana of the New South Wales Police Force, where he remained for 8 years. McGregor also accompianied Charles Latrobe on his discovery and settlement of King Island. He died in 1864 with his funeral service was held at the Rob Roy Hotel. The hotel is currently a well-known music venue in the Fitzroy area.

Rochester Castle Hotel is located on the corner of Johnston Street and George Street. It was opened in September 1851 by Edmund Wolfe, after an unsuccessful license application by James best in May 1851. Official website.

The Rose Hotel is located at the corner of Napier Street and Leicester Street. It was opened in 1862 by H. W. Sandstrum.

Royal Derby Hotel is located at the corner of Brunswick Street and Alexandra Parade. It was opened in 1854 by John Telgate and was originally called the William Tell Hotell. Numerous name changes followed, including the Globe Hotel, Woods Hotel, Derby Hotel, and finaly in 1875, the Royal Derby Hotel. A photo circa 1926.

Royal Oak Hotel is located at the corner of Nicholson Street and Freeman Street in Fitzroy North. It was opened in March 1871 by Emma Phair.

Standard Hotel is located on Fitzroy Street, just south of Bell Street. It was opened in November 1865 by George James Burrell. The site of the hotel originally belonged to a house decorator.

Squizzy Taylors Hotel on the south west corner of Gertrude Street and Napier Street was opened in 1854 by Thomas Drewery, and named Family Hotel. Its establishment was opposed by the United Presbyterian Church. In 1856 it changed its name to Drewery's Family Hotel, and then to the Leviathan Hotel in 1858. The area around the junction of Napier Street and Gertrude Street was frequented by Melbourne gangster Squizzy Taylor. There were also hotels on the north-east corner (now a Gilgamesh Connection restaurant) and the south-west corner of Gertrude Street and Little Napier Street (now a newsagent). At some stage, the hotels name was changed to Squizzy Taylors, in honour of the gangster. It has since been renamed the Renown Tavern.

Tankerville Arms is located on the corner of Nicholson Street and Johnston Street. It was opened in 1854 by William Hastie.

Town Hall Hotel is located on the corner of Johnston Street and Napier Street. It was opened in 1866 by James McGowan, who took over the site from a grocery shop. It was originally called the Junctin Hotel, and named the Town Hall Hotel in 1974. It is currently called the Purple Turtle.

Tramway Hotel is located on the corner of Church Street and St Georges Road in Fitzroy North. It was opened in 1873 by George Baker.

The Union Club Hotel is located on the corner of Webb Street and Gore Street. It was opened in 1847 by James Sword, and was originally called the Collingwood Hotel. The name was changed to the Union Club Hotel in 1886.




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