32 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North (Morning Star Hotel)

“Although the hotel was licensed in 1876, the simple unadorned facade is of an earlier period, possibly in the 1850s.” (Hotels in Fitzroy up to 1906, Nicola A Piccolo, 1971).

Licensing records show the North Fitzroy Star was opened in 1878 by Samuel Coulter as the A1 Coulter’s Hotel, later the Morning Star Hotel and later again Lord Jim’s and is now the Star. And while it might of survived into the 70s and beyond, in 2015, locals rallied to protect the 137 year old pub from development plans for 5 townhouses and a wine bar. Most recently it was run by restauranteur Patricia O’Donnell, sister of the late Mietta O’Donnell and prided itself as being a comfortable place for meetings and book launches (no pokies or TAB). But when she failed to find another to take over the lease, owner Leon Lachal had the plans drawn up (The Age, 11 Dec 2015).

The North Fitzroy Star in 1978 when it was called Lord Jim’s Hotel – The Age, 11 Dec 2015

Patrons and neighbours of all ages gather outside the North Fitzroy Star – The Age, 11 Dec 2015

The challenge from 2015 however, was unsuccessful and the council approved the modification to create a series of four townhouses and a wine bar in April 2016 (Herald Sun, 18 April 2016).

Google Image – July 2019 – Both the images from 2018 and 2019 show little progress from this gutted and heavily vandalised hotel

I was very happy to walk past the Morning Star Hotel yesterday (15 Nov 2021) and see that there has been a lot of progress and that the building is now largely completed. I think this has been sensitively converted keeping the roof line and fireplaces and external features. The extension works with the building and not against it.

Photo of the Morning Star now development has mostly completed – Nov 2021 (Photo by Rachel Axton)
Rear View Photo of the Morning Star now development has mostly completed – Nov 2021 (Photo by Rachel Axton)

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