Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Breakfast Creek Hotel

We have looked at a few of Brisbane's old hotels before, and I have denied having been in most of them. That isn't the case with today's post - it features the Breakfast Creek Hotel, which has been one of my favourites over the years. I'll try to explain why, but firstly let's look at the history of the place. The hotel is rightly heritage listed, and you can read the State Government's EPA record here. It appears that there has been a hotel of sorts in the area just on the northern side of Breakfast Creek since 1862 and possibly even earlier than that - in other words, almost since Queensland first separated from New South Wales. However, the current building dates from around 1889 when the foundation stone was laid. The two-story hotel was opened in May 1890, just twelve months after the Breakfast Creek Bridge was completed. Here is a photo of the Breakfast Creek Hotel from shortly after that, when Brisbane was battling the 1893 floods. Notice the boats in the foreground of the hotel - perhaps some thirsty travellers looking for some refreshment. :-) Click the picture to see a larger image.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #99230)

The hotel has had notable publican family owners over the years. It was constructed for William Galloway, who was the mayor of Brisbane at the time. Galloway's initials, WMG, and the date, 1889, are inscribed in the gables at the front of the hotel - see my recent photo below (click for a larger image). Michael McGuire followed after Galloway's death, and subsequent to that, the Cavill family held the licence for many years. It was during their tenure that I first became aware of the hotel and its famous Spanish Garden barbecue restaurant.

(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

I don't know whose idea it was to open a beer garden, decorate it with Spanish bullfighting posters, and cook the patrons' personally selected cuts of beef on a barbecue in front of them, but it has worked a treat over many, many years. Add to that Queensland's Fourex beer still served from wooden kegs in a public bar that welcomes everyone from wharfies to CEOs of some of the country's largest businesses and you surely have a licence to print money. Recent renovations have added a more up-market garden bar at the front of the hotel, and "The Creek" seems to be more popular than ever.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: The mighty Quinn

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