More than 130 years of pub history has been preserved with the renovation of an iconic building on the Sunshine Coast.
The classic hotel at Eumundi underwent a revamp that was focused on retaining its heritage while showcasing the identity of its new operators, Matso’s Brewery.
The work was a collaborative approach involving the brewery, Sunshine Coast Council and architects Five Mile Radius.
The opening of Matso’s Sunshine Coast Brewery is the latest chapter in the long history of the hotel, which was originally opened by E.H. Arundell as the Railway Hotel in 1891.
During the 1900s, the hotel underwent a makeover and adopted the new name Commercial Hotel.
The pub survived many tough times, including drought and a fire that destroyed the then two-storey building, which was replaced with a new building a year later in 1925.
Most recently known as Joe’s Waterhole, the pub has a long and rich history in the local Eumundi community, as a hub of laughter and good times.
The pub was recently rebranded to Matso’s Brewery but a number of its iconic features of have been reused and repurposed in the renovation.
Five Mile Radius worked closely with the Sunshine Coast Council urban design and architecture team to honour and retain the pub’s heritage while breathing new life into the venue.
There are nine heritage pubs around the region, which have played an important role in contributing to the local character and look and feel of townships.
The original pubs were made from timber milled in the local area and often served as boarding houses for people on the way to Gympie to prospect for gold or to feed local workers and pioneering business people.
Today, the heritage pubs play an important role in placemaking, and the council’s placemaking Team works with communities to co-create a refreshed look and feel for local towns and villages.
Council’s Sunshine Coast Design book has been developed to inspire and encourage quality place-based design. It’s a resource to help plan and design homes, buildings, parks, public spaces, streets and neighbourhoods.
Sunshine Coast Council urban design and architecture lead Sarah Chalkley said historic pubs had played a significant role in communities for many decades, helping bring people together and create a sense of local character and identity.
“These heritage pubs, some more than a century old, continue to add to the look and feel of our towns,” she said.
“In recent years, they have been at risk of losing their iconic heritage character due to fire rating requirements and the cost of insurance, in particular for the timber hotels.
“The Sunshine Coast Design book aims to guide good design and celebrate the region’s unique history and architecture through use of the 10 design principles.
“Council aims to work closely with the community to guide and encourage design that is appropriate for the Sunshine Coast. Our aim is to assist with the design process and help ensure heritage values are respected, enhanced and maintained where possible.”
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