Beer and pizza were served to celebrate the re-opening of the Front Bar of Brisbane’s historic Regatta Hotel last week. After a $10 million renovation, the Front Bar of this grand dame of pubs – and the spruced up exterior – is looking great. As he poured the first beers (in front of a battery of TV cameras), general manager Zoran Stojcevski looked justifiably proud.
With bright white new paint on the outside, the return of the wrought-iron lacework on the wrap-around verandahs and stripped back walls exposing the original brickwork, the hotel has a new lease on life after the terrible damage done during the 2011 floods.
Of course, it’s nothing new for the Regatta, perched as it is right beside the river. When you visit, make sure you look for the flood markers on the outside corner wall, which show the levels of floods which ripped through the building in 1887 (before its doors had even opened for the first time), 1890, 1893 and 1974. They are yet to be joined by the newest one.
Still to come in the ongoing work on the pub are a new courtyard between the hotel and the Boatshed restaurant, the restaurant itself, and a cellar bar – all set to open in July. What won’t be returning is the one-way glass wall in the gents’ loo that the pub became somewhat famous for in recent years.
And if you’re heading to the Regatta, take a CityCat if you can. The jetty is just across the street.