The name of the Newmarket Hotel was changed to Newtown Hotel sometime during 1910-1911 when Bridget Hogan was the licensee. She transferred the licence to John Joseph Flanagan (married, one child) in June 1912 who passed it to Josephine Woods in October 1913. Woods offered to supply water from the hotel’s bore to a horse trough in front of the hotel where 4 roads met if the new Newtown Council would erect same; Council declined, erecting it instead on the Eton Estate but Woods nevertheless allowed drought-stricken residents to access the bore. It was suggested Council declined because Mayor Josiah Troy was ‘opposed to hotels’ (DDG, 14, 15, 19 Jan 1914). William McLean was licensee from July 12914 to March 1917. When James O’Connor became a licensee in March 1917 the licence was renewed conditionally on a new building being erected in the next year (DDG, 5 April 1917).
Licensees 1913 to 1959: John Joseph Flanagan, 2 April 1913; Josephine Woods, 15 Oct 1913; William McLean, 1 July 1914; James O’Connor, 8 March 1917; Charles Condren, 7 Nov 1917; Bertha Hamilton, 8 Jan 1919; Denis Callaghan, 5 Nov 1919; Edmund McCarthy, 6 Oct 1920; Christopher Mayme Ryan, 9 Aug 1923; Sarah Mindham, 2 April 1924; William Frederick Jackwitz, 14 Oct 1925; [Jim Smith and Sarah Mindham (August 1927)]; James Henry Dutton, 6 March 1929; Patrick Charles McGlynn, 5 June 1929; William Curtis, 4 April 1934; Margaret Mundell, 20 June 1946; Ethel King, 12 Dec 1946; Robert Duncan McInnes, 7 May 1953; Jack Gelling Cairns, 9 Feb 1959. From Clements: Patrick Joseph O’Neil 1966-1977.
Significant Events: In October 1913 the 50-mile Toowoomba to Pittsworth and return cycle race (sponsored by the Continental Rubber Co) started/finished at the hotel (DDG, 18 Oct 1913). In February 1922 bus proprietor D Yesberg started a daily bus service from the Newtown Hotel via Anzac Ave, Russell St, and Ruthven St to Town Hall and return with 6 services each way (DDG, 23 Feb 1922). During WWII an air raid shelter was constructed at the rear of the hotel; it was later used as a cool-room storage. In January 1954 a hitchhiking thief stole £450 from the hotel (Mail, 2 Jan 1954). In April 2012 the hotel hosted Brophy’s travelling boxing show (TC, 20 March 2012).
Ron Davy was publican from January 1987; he converted the air raid shelter into a cool room, established a beer garden and drive-in liquor barn, extended the lounge room, and initiated Gatsby’s bistro with chefs Tim Krause and Diane Thorley (TC, 3 April 1987). The hotel was owned by Bryan Death in 1889 with Bonzas Liquor Supermarket (TC, 18 Aug 1889). It was placed on the market in mid-1992 with a weekly turnover of approx. $85,000 and an annual licence fee of $241,600 (TC, 4 July 1992). Gatsby’s was later named Impressions Brasserie from 1993 when the hotel manager was Peter Garrod. In September 1994 the hotel was passed in at auction for $1.7 million (TC, 28 Sept 1994). Glenn Gorton and John Wunsch, former employees at the hotel, took over the lease in November 2005 (TC, 25 Feb 2006)
Historical information supplied by Emeritus Professor Maurice French.