Metropole Hotel, Launceston, Australia

Murray View No. 42. The Hotel Metropole, Launceston, Tas.
Publisher: Murray VIews, Gympie, Queensland

Built as the Launceston Coffee Palace (opening 1882), also known as Sutton’s Coffee Palace and Metropole Coffee Palace. Demolished 1976.

Google Street View.

Prominent amongst the new erections will be a three-storey building in Brisbane-street, opposite the Brisbane Hotel, for Mr S. J. Sutton. In this Mr Sutton intends to carry on the business of a first-class coffee palace, similar to that in Collins street, Melbourne, and the establishment will be denominated the “Launceston Coffee Palace.” Mr Sutton has recently returned from a visit to Victoria, where he has had ample opportunity of observing the management of coffee houses, and intends to adopt the style of the Collins-street Coffee Palace.

The internal arrangements of the coffee palace will be very complete. The entrance hall, 8ft wide, will be in the centre of the frontage, and a shop will be provided on either side. On each side of the hall will be the public rooms, consisting of a coffee-room, commercial-room, smoking-room, and ladies’ dining-room, a special feature of the arrangements being that these rooms are readily accessible to the public, instead of being placed in some out-of-the-way part of the house. The public dining-room will be across the end of the hall, and will be an apartment 36ft long by 19ft wide. There will also be a kitchen, pantry, and bake-house in the rear. The second storey will comprise, in addition to the arcade already mentioned, two commodious par lours and nine bedrooms, four of the latter being 16ft by12ft, and the remaining five smaller apartments. The third storey will contain sixteen bedrooms. The building will be fitted with bathrooms and other conveniences, and there will be fire escape from the rear of the second flat. Every attention will be paid to ventilation, such sleeping apartments as will not containg fireplaces having flues leading from the floor to the top of the parapet.
The Launceston Coffee Palace will be built of brick with a cement front and iron roof, and Mr Sutton expects it will be completed and ready for occupation in November.
Launceston Examiner, 21 May 1881

The new coffee palace being built by Mr S. Sutton is making rapid progress, and is already being roofed, and will be ready for occupation by the 1st of December next. The architecture of the elevation is of a highly pleasing style, looking both light and graceful, while the building is really a very substantial peace of work. The basement is divided into two shops, coffee-room, smoking-room, commercial-room, ladies dining-room, and large dining hall. These rooms are lofty and commodious, and are divided by a spacious hall 8ft. wide, with a large staircase as near the front of- the house as possible. Overhead are 27 bedrooms and two bath-rooms, and in the rear a large- kitchen and pantry are yet to be built, also a ten-stalled stable. The new bake-house at the rear has a steam boiler, and machinery for making biscuits, besides other patent appliances of recent invention.
Telegraph, 20 August 1881

Brisbane Street, 1897-99, with the Launceston Coffee Palace second from the corner. (Photo from the Archives Office of Tasmania1897-99.)

A change has taken place in the management of one of the most important city establishments, the Metropole Coffee Palace, Brisbane-street, where on Saturday Mr W. Hunt, formerly for very many years chief steward on the Pateena, took over control from Alderman S. J. Sutton
2 September 1901

(From theState Library of Tasmania)

Mr Samuel J. Sutton, a well-known and highly-respected citizen, died at his residence, Elphin-road, early last evening, after a lingering illness. He had been in failing health for some months past, suffering from dropsy, but during the early part of the week rallied, and it was believed that a permanent improvement had set in. The rally, however, was only the beginning of the end, as he collapsed, and passed peacefully away at 5.30 last evening.
.  .  .
The deceased was born in H[obart] 1836, and educated in Launceston, and afterwards learned the business of a baker and confectioner. From an early age he began to take an active interest in public affairs, and in 1883 he was returned as a member of the Launceston City Council, of which he had been a member continuously until a few months ago, when he retired, as he said, to give place to a younger man. He was Mayor for three consecutive years — 1890, 1891, 1892 — and during the latter year he was a leading figure in running the first inter-colonial exhibition held in Tasmania . . . The deceased’s services to the citizens were numerous, but, in addition to those already mentioned, it might be said that be was mainly instrumental in having the Albert Hall, one of the largest and finest halls in the States erected, and that he largely contributed to the success of the movement, which resulted in the establishment of the Victoria Museum. The erection of the Victoria Baths in Patterson-street was also due to. his efforts. He had seen the town of Launceston grow to its present size and importance from very small beginnings. . . He commenced business in Wellington-street, near Elizabeth-street, and subsequently opened the Imperial Coffee Palace in Brisbane-street. He then built the Metropole Coffee Palace, the Largest house of its kind in Tasmania. Mr Sutton retired from business a few years ago, and took up his residence in a fine villa he had built on the Elphin-road.
Daily Telegraph, 8 September 1906

LAUNCESTON’S 65, year-old Hotel Metropole, which has been privately owned by three Launceston families since it was built in 1882, will change hands on October 1, when Pioneer Tourist Hotels Pty. Ltd. will take over. THE hotel, which has never sought a permanent liquor licence, was built by Mr S. J. Sutton, and called the Launceston Coffee Palace. It was in the Sutton family for 20 years, and then passed to the Hunt family, where it remained for an-other 20 years. The late Mr H. T. Gladman pur-chased the hotel on August 30, 1922, and controlled it until his death in 1937, and since December 20, 1937, his son, Mr H. T. Gladman, has managed the hotel. The new proprietors plan to cater for tourists, and it is likely that most of the permanent boarders will have to obtain other accommodation. . . . The hotel is one of the few in Tasmania which has its own butcher’s shop on the premises, and it makes all its own smallgoods.
Mercury, 22 September 1947

Mercury, 23 November 1953

Leave a Reply