THE Bank Hotel formerly stood in Hunter street, Newcastle, on the site now occupied by the Oxford Hotel, the sale of which was an announced this week.
The block of land at the corner of Hunter, Brown and Crown Streets was part of the grant of 2000 acres from the Crown to the Australian Agricultural Company in 1847. On January 13, 1854, the Bank of Australasia purchased the whole block, containing one acre, from the Australian Agricultural Company, at a cost of £1500, and erected, on the corner of Hunter and Brown Streets, what was re gardled at that time as a very imposing building, after dedicating to the City Council a triangular strip of land at the corner of Brown street for the widening of Hunter street at that point.
About that time the Bank Hotel was built on the western boundary wvith its stabling accommodation at the rear. The hotel was the rendezvous of many patrons who came into the town from the outlying centres. At that time Crown-street did not exist since the overhead bridge crossing Hunter street was in, use by the company for the conveying of coal from its mine at Hamilton to the loading chutes at the wharf.
On June 16, 1877, the late Mr. Jesse Ireland purchased that part of the block bounded by Hunter and King Streets, and erected a warehouse and residences on the site. It is uncertain when the name of the hotel was changed to the Oxford Hotel, but many residents will recollect the remodelling of the building, which freehold was recently disposed of to Tooth and Company Ltd.
On May 21, 1878, the late Mr. Richard Bryant purchased a portion of the land on the western side from the Bank of Australasia, and in the same year Mr. Lewis bought tihe residue of the and fronting Hunter street. Today, imposing builldings occupy the site which 90 years ago was a barren waste.
-Newcastle Morning Herald Saturday 20 April 1935.
The old Oxford late became known as the Lucky Country Hotel, and continues to trade today as the Lucky Hotel, after a major redevelopment. The Newcastle Herald reported 78 years later:
THE $6 million revamp of the former Lucky Country Hotel has hit a milestone, with initial work on the facade of the heritage-listed building all but complete.
Hidden behind scaffolding since 2008, the pub on the corner of Hunter and Crown streets owned by the McCloy Group has had its dated mustardy tones replaced with soft grey and charcoal hues.
The developer received the council green light in February last year to revamp the once pokie-filled pub and two floors of accommodation above.
Group managing director Brian Swaine said phase one of the revamp – the facade restoration – would be complete this week, then structural enhancements and the final fit-out phase would be wrapped up within the year.
Spread out over 600 square metres, the hotel will feature a restaurant with an “American BBQ Pit”-influenced menu focused on local produce and some of the region’s best wine.
Also on the ground floor is a 200-square-metre, fully enclosed internal courtyard.
“The ground floor hotel has been designed to appeal to the sophisticated inner-city user and will offer a variety of recreation and hospitality experiences,” Mr Swaine said.
“The interior design will be reflective of both the rich history of the site and Newcastle’s quirks and idiosyncrasies.”
Upstairs, there will be 40 hotel rooms, each with ensuites, to cater for “both individual tradesmen and businessmen and families or groups of up to eight people.”
Mr Swaine said the hotel name would likely remain the same or be a “spin on the former name”.
-Newcastle Herald June 21 2013.