Royal Oak Hotel (Peel Street)
- For hotels with the same, or similar names, see Royal Hotel.
The Royal Oak Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, Victoria, <1872-1918>.
The hotel was one of eight Ballarat East hotels listed for closure by the Licence Reduction Board in 1918.
ROYAL OAK HOTEL Evidence was heard first in regard to the Royal Oak Hotel Peel street, owner Breheny Bros., licensee John Hutchens. Mr Campbell Douglas, of Melbourne, represented the owner and licensee , in the absence of Mr Early who was ill. Const. Flanigan said the hotel was well conducted. If it were closed the people in the locality would have to go to the Athletic Club hotel. There was no hotel the other way nearer than 10 miles, and a good population resided in the vicinity. The building was in good order, but wanted renovating. Since the Black Hill Progress Association was formed the district had improved. The main roadway to the lookout passed the hotel, and the licensee supplied meals and provided accommodation for vehicles. It would be no advantage to the locality to close the hotel. A certain class of customers would be greatly inconvenienced. To the Chairman: Although he had not had much experience in Ballarat East he thought the hotels to be closed could come from the eight listed before the Board. He should not think the City of York Hotel did a better bar business than the Royal Oak, but he quite believed that before the present licensee of the Royal Oak took control the City of York did a much better business. Senconst Wallace, of Brown Hill, speaking with nine years experience of Ballarat East, said he knew all the hotels listed and approved of some being closed. He would make his selection from the list, but would not close the Royal Oak. To the Chairman: Some of the hotels in Main street could go: he would close congested hotels before closing the Royal Oak. That also applied to the Victoria Hotel. The Crown, Royal Standard, and the New Eglinton hotels could be closed without causing inconvenience. He would close them in that order. The Earl of Zetland occupied a good position and he would leave it. He would not close the Commonwealth Hotel, which occupied as good a position as the Royal Standard. The Crown, and he thought the Limerick Castle, could be closed. He had a doubt about the Phoenix. The hotels mentioned depended chiefly on the bar trade. Ernest Breheny, on behalf of the owners who purchased the property in1912, said the present licensee took possession in February 1917, on a five year lease, with the option of purchase, at a reduction of 5 in the rent owing to early closing. He believed that for £30 the place could be put in decent repair. John Hutchens, the licensee. said a fair amount of the trade was local and a fair amount came from a distance. The trade went back to Little Bendigo and even Bungaree people came to him. He took the hotel because he never thought it would be listed before the Board. He often had to provide shared rooms because his house was full, and he took 15 to 16 a week for meals and beds. His bar takings averaged £25 a week. He received about £3 10 from the temperance bar. His stables and yards were free. He did not carry a heavy stock. The Progress Association had improved the district considerably. To the Chairman: He did not exercise the option to purchase because he wanted to wait and see how things were going. To Insp Nicholson: He did a decent respectable trade, and the greater part of it was not due to Sunday trading and after hours trading. Insp Nicholson: That was his information, Mr Douglas: Well, why was it not put in the box? The Chairman: The constable said that the place was well conducted. Witness to the Chairman: One account for soft stuff for a year was £36 but that did not include all the soft stuff he purchased. He could add £10. He should expect to get 40 per cent profit on £100 worth of stuff. The Chairman: If you take my advice and want to make a profit, and want the public to patronise you, you will give up hard stuff and keep soft stuff, because on the figures you have given you can make 300 per cent on soft stuff and only 40 per cent on general lines. Witness: He had had the temperance bar for only a few months. James A. M'Neil said he had been living in the locality over 25 years and he thought it would he an inconvenience to close the hotel. There were great mining possibilities on Black Hill. The hotel was well conducted, and the population of the locality was working class. The Progress Association had about 300 members, and the Association passed a resolution regretting the proposal to close the hotel. The hotel was some thing like the policeman. Both were required. If the hotel were closed, sly grog selling would probably be carried on. To Mr Lock: There were more hotels in Main street than were required. Two or three could be closed in the congested parts before closing outskirt hotels. Robert Caldwell (president of the Progress Association), Archibald Hatrick (secretary), and Edward Cooper (salesman) gave corroborative evidence. The latter said he lived opposite the hotel and he had seen no Sunday trading. Decision was reserved.
The hotel was in Peel Street, near the road leading to the Black Hill lookout.
- From at least March 1872 to December 1874 the publican was Bird Speed.
- In 1894 the licence was transferred from C. Dwyer to J. W. Foote
- In February 1918 the publican was John Hutchens.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1918 'ROYAL OAK HOTEL.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1878; 1914 - 1918), 28 February, p. 4 Edition: DAILY., viewed 9 November, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75178090
- ↑ 1872 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 19 March, p. 4. , viewed 16 Jul 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197627472
- ↑ 1874 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING BENCH. ANNUAL MEETING.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 December, p. 4, viewed 17 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article208250314
- ↑ The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) Thu 15 Mar 1894 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/192192870?