Hotel:British Crown Hotel
Hotel ID No74
14 Smith Street, northeast corner Mason Street
Most Recent Name:
British Crown Hotel (2008 - present)
British Crown Hotel (1860 - 1983), Smith Street Bar & Bistro (1984 - 2008)
Status of Building:
Extended to include numbers 16 and 18.
Heritage Victoria Register:
National Trust Register:
Collingwood Conservation Study 1989 & 1995:
City of Yarra Heritage Review 1998:
City of Yarra Review of Heritage Overlay Areas, 2007 & Heritage Database:
Individually significant within HO333
Kearney 1855: N ; Hodgkinson 1858: N ; MMBW: Detail Plan 1208, 1899
James Cattach was the first publican from 1859 to 1867, and again from 1873 to 1877. In the twentieth century the Roberts family ran this hotel for 74 years. Catherine Roberts arrived from Sydney in the early 1900s, took over the upbringing of her recently orphaned four nieces and a nephew, and bought a pub. Her nephew Jack took over the licence in 1956, and he and his sister Katherine Hackett ran the place until August 1982, with irregular assistance from sisters Noreen, Joan and Pattie.
When my mother died auntie brought the five of us up. We lived above the hotel and boarded at Star of the Sea. The pub was a tiny little place then. We built on as the years went by. Aunty was a wonderful woman, one of those people everyone admired. She kept us kids out of the bar... we used to peep around the door to see what was going on. Everyone called her Aunt - it was known as Aunt's hotel and after her death as Jack's hotel. She was very regal. She'd tap on the counter and say "Come on now boys, you go home" I don't remember Collingwood being a tough place ... This block in Smith Street was really lovely then... It was a real community. Everyone knew each other.... Smith Street used to be so busy, you couldn't move here on a Friday night before the war, when there was late night shopping. It used to be good fun, we had a lovely crowd. They just went mad when Collingwood won the Premiership. We had to close at 6 pm, but people would dance in the streets.
(The Melbourne Times, 18 August 1982, pp. 1, 7)
After a period of time during which it was called the Smith Street Bar and Bistro, the hotel reverted to its original name in 2008.