New Owner Has Big Plans for Normanby Hotel in Red Hill

The Normanby Hotel in Red Hill has changed hands and its new owner has big plans for the iconic pub, after paying Queensland publican Jaz Mooney $15 million for the deal.

The new owner is said to be planning to reposition the iconic pub, which recently underwent refurbishment, and re-establish it as a market-leading venue. 

Jaz Mooney, who acquired the property in 2019, sold it to Ingham-Myers last December 2022 with CBRE senior director Paul Fraser handling the sale through an expression of interest campaign. 

“We are currently in the middle of a gaming boom in South-East Queensland with respect to both revenue generation and the value of gaming machine authorities,” Paul Fraser said.

“This has underpinned the tightly held nature of inner-city assets with gaming pubs becoming even more coveted as strategic investments.

“With the value of gaming showing continual growth, Brisbane’s elevated infrastructure pipeline, and the 2032 Brisbane Olympics on the horizon, the trading outlook for pubs is strong and we expect investor sentiment for these assets to remain robust through 2023.”

Architectural drawing of the Normanby Hotel ca. 1890 | Photo credit: Contributor(s): Nicholson & Wright, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Normanby Hotel was built for publican Elizabeth Sophia Burton in 1890. The heritage-listed building sits on a 4,162 sqm site on Musgrave Road in Red Hill. It offers 35 gaming machine authorities, bars, restaurants, a beer garden, and function areas.

Previous owner Jaz Mooney said that he is happy to see the pub retained by safe hands and that he looks forward to what Ingham-Myers would do with it.

The Ingham-Myers also owns the Rocklea Hotel which also underwent a transformation with a newly refurbished gaming room, bistro, brand new pool table and a full-fledged TAB and sports bar.

Published 20-January-2023

Red Hill’s Legendary Normanby Hotel Up for Sale

For the first time in 15 years, the iconic Normanby Hotel in Red Hill is up for sale.

Built in 1890, Normanby Hotel used to be a popular spot for locals thirsty for a cold beer. It was listed as a heritage place in 1992 for its cultural and aesthetic significance.

Although the official listing hasn’t hit the market yet, potential buyers are already signifying interest. The property is attracting strong interest thanks to its underlying value and development potential.

Sellers are expecting the price to hit $20 million.

The hotel sits on a 3,655-square-metre site with a vast car park and the multi-level heritage listed pub. It currently has 35 gaming machines, which substantially add value to the property.

To add to that, the hotel is situated in a prime location at the Normanby Fiveways. The huge land where it sits also makes it a valuable asset for developments in the future.

Normanby Hotel was also popular for one of Brisbane’s popular trees, the 100-year-old fig tree, which was removed in 2016 after a storm blew it over.

In 2003, the hotel went through a major renovation and it hasn’t changed since then.

Back in 2016, the hotel submitted an application to the Brisbane City Council to build a 15-storey building along with an underground nightclub next to the hotel. However, the application was rejected due to the height and size of the proposed hotel tower.

Michale Dempsey and Otto Wilhelm, who co-own the hotel since 1999, said that they are selling the hotel to concentrate on Mr Dempsey’s core business.

CBRE Hotels Queensland director Paul Fraser and national director Daniel Dragicevich are handling the sale of the property. They are marketing the property via an Expression of Interest (EOI) campaign.

The EOI process will run until Thursday 5th April 2018 at 2:00 p.m. (AEST).

Normanby Hotel’s Iconic Fig Tree Remembered

The Normanby Hotel that sits on the corner of Musgrave Road and Kelvin Grove Road in Red Hill is a distinctive landmark in the area, not just because of the establishment itself, but because of the memories associated with the iconic fig tree that used to stand outside the hotel.

Photo credit:

Prior to the hotel, a smaller, two-storey hotel used to sit on the land with the same name. A hotel owned by the Burtons, its name was said to have been derived from Queensland Governor George Phipps, 2nd Marquis of Normanby. However, in 1889, the son-in-law of the Burtons decided to demolish the hotel to build a bigger one facing Musgrave Road. The new hotel officially opened on 1 December 1980.

Over the years, the hotel became a popular pub with the locals and became a home for nightclubs. There was even a time when the hotel featured a drive-in bottle shop.

Through it all, the large fig tree outside the hotel has stood witness to the passing of events, including more fond memories that locals hold close to their hearts. The tree has become one of Brisbane’s most well-known living icons and has been a place for romantic proposals and first kisses.

Photo credit: The Normanby Hotel

Sadly, on 8 June 2016, the tree collapsed during a storm. Quite surprisingly, the tree didn’t fall towards the hotel but away from it, leaving the hotel unscathed. Locals were devastated following the demise of their most-loved tree. A day after the news broke, the hotel garnered over 1,000 comments on their Facebook page with people sharing memories of “their” tree.

Photo credit: The Normanby Hotel / Facebook

The tree, it seems, has played a significant role in the lives of many. Some people shared their stories on how they met their partners under the tree while some even shared christening stories under it. Many parties were also thrown under its sheltering branches. There were also names etched on the branches of the tree, marking the many people whose lives it has touched.

Photo credit: Screenshot from The Normanby Hotel Facebook page

The iconic tree is no longer there; yet the hotel, in honour of the tree and the locals, has been giving pieces of the tree as a memento of the memories that were formed under Normanby Hotel’s beloved fig tree.