Maori Chief Hotel 1867 -

117 Moray Street, corner York Street, South Melbourne
MEL: 2F D12

First licensed by John Reidy in 1867, the Maori Chief Hotel, whose name probably derives from an association with Maori groups who visited Melbourne in 1863 and 1866, was taken over by John Reidy’s widow Johanna (Walsh) Reidy after his death in 1878.  The hotel stayed within the family for several years: in 1885, the license was transferred to Johanna’s new husband, a Scot named Andrew Black, and eventually to Johanna’s brother-in-law Peter Campbell and sister, Mary Campbell.

The original 1867 building was replaced in 1875 according to the design specifications of architect M Hennessy who had also designed the Meagher’s Family Hotel (now Palace) and Freer’s Family Hotel (now Bell’s).  It has remained an architectural landmark in South Melbourne, both for its dominance over the corner on which it stands (tall, three storeyed, relatively narrow) and the high quality of its detailing.  A huge painting of a Maori Chief sits above the entrance to the hotel.  There are meals available in the comfortable back room with old couches and crocheted rugs, while the front bar contains a pool table and television screens. 


Maori Chief Hotel, 2004



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