The former Champion hotel on the corner of Brunswick St and Gertrude has a colourful past. It seemed to have been a centre of illegal gambling at the turn of the previous century, with arrests being made in 1897 for running a sweep. In 1904 someone broke in and stole a roll of linoleum the landlady had recently bought.

In 1949 a safe was stolen from the hotel and £600 was removed before the empty safe was recovered. In 1951 a barman was shot when the hotel closed for the evening.

In recent years the building has appeared rather scruffy and unloved, and housed a carpet shop. About 18 months ago it became the new post office / shop and at the end of 2010 it received some much needed restorative work to the facade.

championhotel Fitzroy history - the Champion hotel

Fitzroy history – the Champion hotel

6 thoughts on “Fitzroy history – the Champion hotel

  • 6 January 2011 at 11:57 pm
    Permalink

    Last time I was in the Champion about 25 years ago it was a lesbian country and western pub. A live version of ‘Stand by your man’ was being sung…but the words were changed..was it ‘Stand on your man’? No… it something more violent.

    Where are those women today?

    Maybe your nan?

    Reply
  • 7 January 2011 at 7:06 am
    Permalink

    The Champion also had bands in the punk era. They played upstairs.

    Reply
  • 30 January 2011 at 6:20 pm
    Permalink

    Yep, as Frances says, The Champion was pivotal to the Melbourne punk scene of the late 1970s, especially the Little Bands – a scene in Dogs in Space is set there.

    Reply
  • 5 May 2011 at 12:24 pm
    Permalink

    Not only was the champion hotel a centre for gambling But it was the first pub in Australia to try to introduce horse race betting in house in the 1870″s by the owner and publican Jerimiah Boland AKA Jerry Boland AKA Arch-medium Who was also the fonder of Tattersalls Club in Australia and president of the licensed Victuallers association

    Reply
  • 9 May 2016 at 2:42 am
    Permalink

    I briefly worked upstairs at the Champion Hotel as a topless barmaid in the late 70’s. There were a few of us, and management looked after us, and made sure that no one harassed us. Our “uniform” was a see through scarf kind of top, which we covered one breast in, and let the other breast hang loose. We wore a long wrap around skirt to go with it. We used to get pretty good tips, and plenty of compliments; even from women.

    Reply
  • 16 September 2017 at 7:09 pm
    Permalink

    I remember going there in the 80’s upstairs when it was called the Moscow Club and men had to wear a dinner suit or ladies cocktail dresses to get in. No beer served just Martinis and Cocktails. Saw a young Kate Cerebrano there in a band with another girl so I guess it was I’m Talking. Was the eighties so my memory is hazy. Maybe someone else can remember something?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *