Bell’s Hotel, formerly Freer’s Family Hotel 1874 -

157 Moray Street, corner Coventry Street, South Melbourne
MEL: 2K E1



Freer's Family Hotel,  c.1880


At the quarterly meeting on 19 September 1874, the licensing magistrate for the Emerald Hill district granted a publican’s license to HW Freer, who named his hotel Freer’s Family Hotel. This hotel was designed by architect M Hennessy who was also responsible for the Meagher’s Family Hotel in City Road and the Maori Chief Hotel in Moray Street.  This hotel is seen to reflect more restraint on the architect’s part: the system of pilasters on the rendered façade is less adorned than on his other hotels. 




Bell's Hotel, 2003


Bells Hotel, 1960s


After a rapid turnover of licensees, Annie Bell took over in 1935 and it has remained within the Bell family ever since; the longest present-day association between any family and hotel in South Melbourne. The hotel remains mostly intact externally, including the slate roof, chimneys and double hung sash windows.

In 2001, Bell’s Hotel was the joint winner (with Jokers on Ryrie Hotel, Geelong) in the ‘Best Hotel Cellar Safety’ category of the Australian Hotel Association State Awards for Excellence.


PDF Version