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Breakfast Creek Hotel

  • 600057
  • 2 Kingsford Smith Drive, Albion


Also known as
Breaky Creek Hotel
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Retail, wholesale, services: Hotel/inn
3.1 Developing secondary and tertiary industries: Feeding Queenslanders
3.8 Developing secondary and tertiary industries: Marketing, retailing and service industries
3.11 Developing secondary and tertiary industries: Lodging people
Simkin & Ibler
Woollam, Thomas & Norman, William
Construction period
1889–1930, Breakfast Creek Hotel (1889 - 1930)
Historical period
1870s–1890s Late 19th century


2 Kingsford Smith Drive, Albion
Brisbane City Council
-27.44081175, 153.04551497


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Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

The Breakfast Creek Hotel is closely associated with the development of the Breakfast Creek area in the late 19th century, and with prominent Brisbane personality WM Galloway.

Criterion BThe place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

It is a fine example of late 1880s boom-era commercial architecture in Brisbane, and one of few known works by Brisbane architects Simkin & Ibler.

Criterion DThe place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

It is a fine example of late 1880s boom-era commercial architecture in Brisbane, and one of few known works by Brisbane architects Simkin & Ibler.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

The Breakfast Creek Hotel is an ornate, richly detailed building which assumes landmark status in the Breakfast Creek townscape. It contains some rich internal detailing, including cedar stairs, coloured and etched glass, decorative mouldings, and coloured tiles.

The Breakfast Creek Hotel survives as an integral element in a grouping of culturally significant places at the junction of Breakfast Creek and the Brisbane River, including Newstead House (1846) and Park [600265], the Temple of the Holy Triad (1886) [600056] and Breakfast Creek Bridge (1889).

Criterion GThe place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

It is one of the best-known hotels in Brisbane, and in the 20th century has been associated with working-class and labor party groups from waterside workers to politicians.

Criterion HThe place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland’s history.

The Breakfast Creek Hotel is closely associated with the development of the Breakfast Creek area in the late 19th century, and with prominent Brisbane personality WM Galloway.


This large, two-storeyed brick hotel was constructed in 1889 for William MacNaughton Galloway, an Edward Street seaman's outfitter who served as president of the Breakfast Creek Bridge Board from 1887 to 1889, and as Mayor of Brisbane from 1889 to 1890.

The site initially was part of a larger subdivision of 9 acres which was alienated in 1845 and acquired by Thomas Hennessy, carpenter, of Brisbane, in 1849. By 1862, and probably much earlier, Mrs Hennessy had established a Breakfast Creek Hotel on part of this property. Whether this was on the site of the 1890 building is not clear. A traffic bridge across Breakfast Creek was established as early as 1848, and the early hotel was located in its vicinity. Publican Michael Campbell took over the Breakfast Creek Hotel in 1863, but the business does not appear to have survived to the late 1860s.

Galloway's hotel was erected during a period of growth in the Breakfast Creek area associated with quarrying, timber-milling, the construction of the Albion racecourse, and the opening of the new Breakfast Creek Bridge on 24 May 1889.

Tenders were called in April 1889 by architects George S Simkin and John Ibler, and the foundation stone was laid on 18 May 1889. The successful contractors were Thomas Woollam and William Norman with a price of £5,300. Described as a family hotel, the Breakfast Creek Hotel opened on 17 May 1890. At the time, the building occupied a commanding position at the northern end of the new Breakfast Creek Bridge, visible from the city, Albion and Hamilton approaches. The interiors were considered very fine, the fittings in the bar on the ground floor of the west wing being particularly impressive. Large folding doors between the east wing dining and commercial rooms on the ground floor, could be opened to create a large banqueting room. Above the staircase landing was a partition containing a stained glass medallion depicting Lady Macbeth, framed by two enamel-painted allegorical figures. There were ten bedrooms and a large drawing room on the first floor, all of which had extensive views of the Brisbane River, Breakfast Creek, and surrounding country. At the rear were the kitchen, servant's rooms and stables, the latter floored with hardwood blocks set in cement. With the ground being particularly damp, the whole of the subfloor was occupied by cellars, the walls and floors of which were constructed of concrete, and in effect forming the foundations.

Following William Galloway's death in 1895, his wife Anne retained the hotel license until 1901, before removing to Southport. In 1900 she sold the property to Perkins Brewery, but remained the lessee for another year. The two-storeyed eastern wing at the rear dates from around the turn of the century, and may have been erected following the transfer to Perkins.

Publican Michael John McGuire held the lease from 1901 to 1917, and since 1926, the lease and license of the Breakfast Creek Hotel have been held principally by members of the Cavill family. In 1926, Brisbane architect Richard Gailey called tenders for alterations and additions to the hotel, and a cold room was constructed in 1930.

The Breakfast Creek Hotel has become a Brisbane landmark, and remains the only hotel in Brisbane which still offers beer 'off the wood'. Its 20th century clientele have included an assorted mix of waterside workers, fishermen, railway workers, policemen, journalists, lawyers, bookies, petty criminals and politicians.


The Breakfast Creek Hotel is an ornate, two-storeyed, rendered masonry building with cement dressings and corrugated iron and sheeted roofs. It comprises a main building with verandahs to the south, west and east (1889), and a brick service wing extending to the rear (early 1900s) with timber extensions (c1926). The building is prominently located at the junction of Breakfast Creek Road and Kingsford Smith Drive, and at the confluence of Breakfast Creek and the Brisbane River. Its rich external decoration and prominent crested mansard roofs at the corners, combined with its location, gives the building landmark status in the Breakfast Creek townscape.

The 1889 building is extravagantly detailed. The Breakfast Creek Road frontage to the south has projecting end bays with vermiculated stone quoins which flank a ground floor loggia and first floor verandah. These bays have mansard roofs with crested widows walks. The western bay has a doorway framed by pilasters and a pediment, with windows framed with pilasters above. The eastern bay has a two-storey height faceted bay window. The loggia has round columns and cement extrados.

The building is encircled with a deep cornice with scrolled brackets and dentils, surmounted by a parapet with circular motifs. The parapet supports five pediments. The central pediment has an arched panel inscribed with the words Breakfast Creek Hotel, which is topped with an arched gable which is embellished with acroteria. The central pediment is flanked by two triangular pediments with scrolls inscribed with the words W.M.G and AD 1889. The east and western elevations also have triangular pediments.

The verandahs around the building have intricately detailed cast iron balustrades, and columns with valances. The columns are paired, and have floriated capitals, hexagonal bases, and fluted shafts. The verandah to the west is supported on cast iron columns with cast iron valances and spandrel panels.

The 1889 building has two large bars on the ground floor either side of an entrance hall and offices and meeting rooms upstairs, and contains some rich internal decoration. The entrance hall has a decorated arch with a female figure on the keystone, a terrazzo floor with the letters BCH inlaid at the door, cedar stairs with richly turned balusters and newels at the northern end, and four timber framed doors with etched glass with floral motifs leading to the bars. The western bar has a terrazzo floor, and is decorated with black and white polished ceramic tiles, and etched glass and coloured glass windows with floral motifs. The eastern bar has coloured glass windows over mirrors along its eastern wall, and a bay window with etched and coloured glass.

The stairs to the upper floor also give access to the service wing at half-landing level. The doorway has coloured glass surrounds with painted allegorical figures and geometrically patterned coloured glass panels. There is a pressed metal ceiling above these stairs.

The upper floor of the 1889 building contains large meeting rooms and smaller offices either side of a small east-west corridor and a wider north-south corridor; both have central decorative arches. There is a large room in the south east corner which has a fireplace with marble surrounds, and another in the south west corner which has a decorative plaster ceiling and full-length sash windows.

The rear service wing, containing the kitchen and service areas, is brick with cement dressings, and has a brick-on-edge string course at first floor level. It has a hipped corrugated iron roof with decorative timber eaves brackets. This service wing has been extended at ground floor level to the east, with a single-storeyed timber pavilion with a pitched roof containing a dining room.

The dining room opens to the outside with large timber folding doors on two walls. It is lined with coloured polished ceramic tiles and has a plaster ceiling with a rounded stepped cornice, and pilasters with staggered flat capitals with rounded ends.

Image gallery


Location of Breakfast Creek Hotel within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
20 January 2016
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