Regatta Hotel

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Regatta Hotel
Regatta Hotel.JPG
General information
Type Hotel
Architectural style Queenslander
Address 543 Coronation Drive,
Town or city Toowong
Country Australia
Cost £4,800
Technical details
Structural system Brick
Floor count 4
Design and construction
Architect Richard Gailey
Main contractor George Gazzard

The Regatta Hotel is a heritage-listed hotel located on the corner of Coronation Drive and Sylvan Road in Brisbane, Australia. It is located in the suburb of Toowong and faces the Brisbane River. The three-storey hotel contained accommodation on the upper two floors and a public bar and lounge area on the ground floor. It was named after the rowing regattas which were once held along the nearby river.[1]

A famous protest took place in the public bar in 1965, when two women, Merle Thornton (mother of Australian actress Sigrid Thornton) and Rosalie Bognor, chained themselves to the bar in protest at Queensland's restriction of public bars to men only.[2] The protest was not successful despite other similar protests; it was years[quantify] before the laws changed.[3] In 2014 the hotel celebrated the protest with the naming of Merle's Bar.[4][5][6]


The Heritage Bar on the ground floor features leather lounges and a large fireplace.[7] The bars are frequented by staff and students of the University of Queensland.[3]


Floodwaters around the hotel in 1908

The first hotel was established on the site in 1874, as a single-storey wooden building.[8] It was first flooded in 1887, then again in 1893.[7] The present Queenslander style building was designed by Richard Gailey and erected in 1886. It featured cast-iron lacings which still adorn the building today.[7] The hotel was refurbished in 1981.

The Regatta Hotel is classified by the National Trust of Queensland and was entered in the Queensland Heritage Register in 1992. The Regatta Hotel has also been entered into the Register of the National Estate of Australian Heritage Commission.


The pub has been progressively renovated between 2001 and 2004. It was converted into several modern bars and nightclubs.

The Regatta Hotel was damaged during the 2010–2011 Queensland floods. $10 million was spent on renovations before an official reopening in September 2012.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Regatta Hotel. Retrieved on 2 October 2012.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Gregory, Helen; Dianne Mclay (2010). Building Brisbane's History: Structure, Sculptures, Stories and Secrets. Warriewood, New South Wales: Woodslane Press. p. 212. ISBN 9781921606199. 
  4. ^ "Merle's Bar Archives - The Regatta Hotel". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Merle's Bar toasts Brisbane suffragette". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Woman revisits Regatta Hotel 50 years after gaining right to drink there". ABC News. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Katherine Feeney (10 April 2012). "'Grand Lady' reveals old-world charms". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Regatta Hotel (entry 600331)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  9. ^ Bridie Jabour (1 September 2012). "Regatta gets new, old look (but don't try to order a jug)". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2 October 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°28′57″S 152°59′47″E / 27.4825°S 152.9963°E / -27.4825; 152.9963