In the 1920s, on Friday nights, the Hotel Queanbeyan foyer was bustling with blokes who’d come across from Canberra – where Prohibition was in force – for a night or two on the liquor.

Almost a hundred years on, owner Mathew Griffin is hoping Friday nights in the foyer will be just as busy thanks an upgrade of the area into a cocktail lounge.

The area at the bottom of the grand staircase now has its own bar, several cocktail tables and lounges, and two flat screen televisions. It can be booked for private functions, and you can design a cocktail menu with up to five specialty cocktails for your event.

The new cocktail lounge is part of more than $600,000 worth of upgrades to the Toppy in the last 18 months. The accommodation on the third floor – 30 rooms in total – has been completely overhauled.

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During a tour of the third floor, publican Matty ‘Chipper’ Griffin said king and queen suites are now available, with prices starting at $80 a night. The pub now also has a large family room with a queen bed, two single beds and a stunning lounge area starting at $149/night. 

The third floor decor incorporates original Federation light fixtures and cornices but with a more modern colour palette. The rooms feature beautiful textured wallpaper, matte black fittings and vintage refurbished wardrobes. Each room comes with its own reverse-cycle air conditioning system, fridge and tea and coffee facilities. The communal bathroom is segregated into large private rooms with white tiles and large double showers. 

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According to Mat, the recent renovations are the icing on the cake on almost a decade’s worth of upgrades.

“This place was originally built to house the workers who had moved to the area to build Canberra,” he says.

“It was sited near the railway, so they could get to and from work easily.

“As there was Prohibition of the sale of alcohol in the ACT around that time, the new workers and residents of Canberra flocked across the border to buy their alcohol from us.”

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The pub undertook major upgrades downstairs to the bar and restaurant in 2015, and started the current renos in late 2020. For the past 18 months, the pub has been battling COVID lockdowns to renovate the new accommodation for short-stay visitors to Queanbeyan. 

With plenty on offer at the Toppy including trivia on Wednesdays, karaoke on Thursdays and live music every weekend (as well as its close proximity to central Queanbeyan and the railway station), it’s one of Super City’s best places to stay.

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Rooms can be booked online at:
https://www.hotelqueanbeyan.com.au/accommodation/

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