Hotelier takes the reins of iconic pub

12 March 2022

Ipswich’s much-loved Commonwealth Hotel will continue to be revitalised in the $250 million Nicholas Street Precinct after AusHotels signed on as the new operator of the iconic pub.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the hotel will act as an anchor for the Nicholas Street Precinct attracting additional visitors and diners to Ipswich Central.

“This is a pivotal moment in the Nicholas Street Precinct redevelopment that we have been working towards,” Mayor Harding said.

“We have watched this grand building being brought back to life and with AusHotels coming on board, we are now assured the future of the site has been secured.”

Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee Chair Councillor Marnie Doyle said while the Commonwealth Hotel has been meticulously restored to maintain its heritage façade, the forthcoming extension of the hotel will transform the site into a state-of-the-art dining and entertainment hub.

“The Commonwealth Hotel, also known as Murphy’s Pub, was built over a century ago and extensive plans for the redevelopment include indoor and outdoor dining, a feature cocktail bar, beer garden and function rooms, while keeping its classic and authentic persona at its core,” Cr Doyle said.

“The reopened hotel will draw more people to the precinct and bolster future trade.

“Importantly, it will help reactivate the night-time economy in the Nicholas Street Precinct and complement the precinct’s other new offerings.”

AusHotels Managing Director Jim Davies said they are looking forward to expanding into Ipswich Central.

“We are already operating the Orion Hotel at Springfield Central and we are very excited to be expanding AusHotels into the Nicholas Street Precinct, with the redevelopment going on there, we believe this to be a great opportunity,” Mr Davies said.

“It is an absolute honour to bring this beautiful heritage icon back to life, we look forward to getting started on the plans and construction so we can open the doors of this treasure, starting another chapter of history together with a new generation of the Ipswich community.”