THE boys down at Mark’s are worried.
‘Mark’s’ is what they call the Queen’s Hotel, at the foot of Creek Street.
It has the oldest continuous’ licence of any hotel in Brisbane, and if it’s not the oldest building, it should be.The hotel has maintained a club-like atmosphere under youngish friendly Mark Mulroney,who couldn’t look less like a publican. For years the boys who go to Mark’s – mainly people in the wool, shipping, and wholesale businesses – have been afraid that one day the building would slip into the river. Now, it is rumoured the brewery owners are about to rebuild.
The boys fear the new hotel may be a tile and chrome monstrosity with as much character as a chain store. They think, too, that they may lose the murals in the public bar- abo. heads drawn by the late Garnet Agnew, and some rather earthy crayon drawings by fellows Mark knew in World War II.
Mark’s is one of the shabbiest hotels in Brisbane, but it always has worn its shabbiness with a genteel air. One-time a keg of beer nearly went through the floor, and there was a hole in a lounge floor that Mark used to joke about, saying: ‘The rats have been bad lately.’
There are two lounges at Mark’s. Where the paper is not peeling off, the plaster is.You have to be careful about the springs in the upholstery, and the tables are inclined to slope away from you, like the floor. You don’t wait for a man in a white coat to come around. You go and get your own at the bar. But Mark’s ‘piece de resistance’ is a bar wall which you can push back-ward or forward, just like a gate.
Mark has a photo of the place (see above) taken in 1880. The hotel’s just the same now, only with verandah posts. Actually, the hotel was built in 1853 – six years before Queensland separated from New South Wales.In those early days Creek Street was a creek which joined the river near the Queen’s, and most of the up-river trade came in where creek and river met.The hotel was built to house Ipswich squatters bringing their wool down by barge.
– Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 6 September 1953.
Footnote: The Queens Hotel has now been demolished. Can anyone tell us what year the pub was demolished?