Railway Hotel, formerly Napoleon Third Inn 1856 -

280 Ferrars Street, corner Bank Street, South Melbourne
MEL: 2K A3


David Lewis first licensed the Railway Hotel in 1856. James Trotter publican from 1861 to 1870 was very involved in racing and cemented the close relationship between horseracing and pubs, his relative F Trotter being the spokesman for horse owners and trainers in 1865. The hotel was built on a subdivided allotment that was part of the estate of Apoo/Abboo Mason/Masung, a governmental Chinese interpreter.  After his death and subsequent auction in 1871, it was renamed the Railway Hotel.  Bob Powell, who would later manage the Shannon and Shamrock Hotel in Bank Street, was licensee and is still immortalised in the history of the hotel, as his painted name is evident on the front of the building. 


Former National RSL President Bruce Ruxton was apparently a regular at the hotel during the time Molly Davis was its licensee. In recent years, its publicans have included well-known retailer Stan Cash and cricketer Simon O’Donnell. There is an ‘anti-poker machines’ sign out the front.  Its interior recalls art deco design with its curvaceous bar and wooden floorboards throughout.  Food is served in the huge back room that contains a couple of pool tables and leads out to a beer garden.  A room off the front bar is converted to a dance floor on Friday nights to accommodate local office workers letting loose for the weekend, while Thursday nights hosts acoustic musicians.



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