Hotel:Royal Hotel

Hotel ID No67
Hotel Address:

35 Spensley Street,
Clifton Hill 3068
Australia
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Suburb:

Clifton Hill

Most Recent Name:

Royal Hotel (1890 - present)

Previous Name(s):

N/A

Hotel Address:

35 Spensley Street,
Clifton Hill 3068
Australia
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When Built/Licenced:

1889 /1890

When Delicensed:

N/A

Status of Building:

Bottleshop and distillery

Rebuilt/Altered:

N/A

Heritage Victoria Register:

N/A

National Trust Register:

N/A

Collingwood Conservation Study 1989 & 1995:

Part C, pp. 556-557

City of Yarra Heritage Review 1998:

Volume 3, Appendix B, individually listed within precinct

City of Yarra Review of Heritage Overlay Areas, 2007 & Heritage Database:

Individually significant within HO 316

Maps:

Kearney 1855: N ; Hodgkinson 1858: N ; MMBW: Detail Plan 1276, 1904

Comments:

A decorative three-storey Italianate hotel built for John and Josephine Anderson in 1889 - 1890. Tenders were invited in February 1889 and the acceptance announced in the Australasian Builder and Contractor's News 30 March, 1889. The architect was George Jobbins, and the original design as shown in the architectural drawings was to have included a corner tower, which would have made it an even more notable Clifton Hill landmark. Since the demolition of the Earl of Zetland and Mac's Hotel, this is the only remaining three-storey hotel in Collingwood.

The Andersons remained associated with the hotel for many years, while Mrs Anderson's siblings Ernest and Elizabeth Graham also served at the bar for decades. The Andersons quickly became active in the local community, especially Mr Anderson as a keen sportsman. He was elected president of the newly-formed Clifton Hill and Northcote Harriers, organised a committee in the hope of financing swimming baths on the Merri Creek, won the local pigeon shooting competition, and hosted smoke nights for the Clifton Hill and Northcote Cycling Club. Mrs Anderson died at the hotel in 1914, while Mr Anderson lived there until his death in 1938.

From its beginnings to the present day, the Royal Hotel has essentially been run by only three or four families. From 1942 until 1972 the Hotel was run by the Venticich family. There followed a number of licensees including the Gibbys. In 1987 the hotel was taken over by the Gudic family who continue to hold the licence. Three generations of the Gudic family, originally from Italy, were involved with running the Royal Hotel over 30 years, Luigi and Jutta Gudic being the licensees. After Luigi’s death in 2005, their children continued to manage the hotel, while Jutta remained director of the family company associated with the Royal.

The Royal closed as a hotel operating a bar and restaurant in March 2017 with the website message from the Gudic family: ‘After 30 years of trade, we have decided to hang up our boots for health and family connection reasons.’ However, the bottle shop continued and expanded to sell delicatessen goods, and in 2021 a gin distillery was installed, while the owners worked to get major plans approved to develop the hotel site into apartments. The plans which sought to demolish all but the façade of the heritage-listed hotel were actively challenged by local residents and defeated at VCAT.