The Grand Lady – The Osbourne Hotel has had a makeover and doesn’t she look fine. Designed for hotelier Charles Osbourne by Brisbane architect James Furnival and opened in 1864, The Osbourne Hotel has stood proudly on the corner of Ann and Constance Street for over 150 years. Long – time owners the Fitzgibbons family have paid tribute to the iconic hotel’s colourful past and over the last few months the original hotel has been stripped back to her original colourings, fittings and layouts.
A great new addition is the leafy beer garden and bistro area, with a glass roof and capacity for up to 400 patrons. Possibly the prettiest beer garden in Brisbane it is bound to be a hit. SheBrisbane were invited to the lavish launch party where we enjoyed flowing drinks, a decadent oyster bar and delicious canapés including Peking duck spring rolls, designer sausage rolls with caramelised onion and cheese kranskies with onion jam while we checked out this seriously cool revamped venue.
The Osbourne Hotel has had a colourful past. If only these walls could talk! It was the second hotel to open in Fortitude Valley and has sported a range of interesting names – The Dead Rat, The Rat and Parrot and more recently – Kerbside and Fringe Bar. In the ‘70’s the hotel was home to the notorious Painters and Dockers Union and in 1974 a man was famously shot dead in the public bar. Of course all witnesses called to testify had seen nothing. In 1980 the hotel family – The Fitzgibbons bought the hotel and are responsible for its recent stunning upgrade.
The New Menu
The menu at The Osbourne is warm, welcoming and a little bit unexpected. The kitchen is in the capable hands of James McKinney who has most recently been in charge at The Alliance Hotel and The Walnut Restaurant at the Royal on Park. From pizzas served all day until late, to char-grilled Cape Grim steaks, plated oysters and a line up of starters to satisfy all palates – including Peking Duck spring rolls, karage chicken and arancini balls as well as salads, gourmet burgers, mains, sides and yummy desserts.
We were astonished by the range of craft beers – 94 in all. You’ll be amazed by the bespoke copper bulkheads, each home to 31 taps, which are a major feature. The Osbourne also boasts a seriously good wine list which includes boutique winemakers Murdoch Hill Vineyards (Young Wine maker of the Year 2016 and 2017) and Yelland and Paps which produces wines with fabulous names like the Whistler Get In My Belly. Cocktail lovers don’t miss out with the more traditional Osbourne G&T sharing space with Watermelon Margaritas and Pineapple Basil Cucumber Pisco Sours created by The Osbourne’s capable and speedy ‘mixologists’.
After exploring the first floor we were busy planning our next function. The upstairs old boarding rooms have been transformed into customised function and meeting rooms as well as a private dining room. This charming area still gives access to the verandah where you can enjoy watching the bustle of the Valley below.
Over what has now been four generations, the Fitzgibbons family have defined the word ‘hospitality’ in Queensland and the stunning renovation and relaunch of the new/old Osbourne Hotel will soon make it a firm favourite for locals and visitors to Fortitude Valley. I know I’ll be taking the family back to while away a few hours in the stunning beer garden and bistro and enjoying a refreshing Osbourne G&T.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).