Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

Rising Sun Hotel

2 Raglan Street, South Melbourne


Location :

North-western corner of Raglan Street and Eastern Road

Memories :

An occasional lunch spot, I think also frequented on occasions by T.A.B. staff. I seem to remember the dining room extending along the Raglan Street side


The hotel was first licensed in 1869 to Robert A. Bunning who remained for five years, replaced by another solid publican in Henry A. Mortimer.  

The original address was listed as 44 Eastern Road - although numbers have changed over the years, the use of Eastern Road suggests the original building faced that street rather than Raglan Street.  The hotel was extended in 1886

The Rising Sun was examined during the 1926 Licence Reductions Boar hearings.  

The owner at the time was Mary Ann Coffee, nee Walsh, this family having a close association with the hotel since around 1880 when Mary Ann's father John was shown as licensee. He died at the hotel in August, 1882, and she had various stints as publican, from 1881 to 1884 when she married Michael Coffee, the hotel then listed under his name until 1887.

There were various licensees until 1898 when Mary Ann re-appeared for two years, a David Walsh (relationship uncertain) was listed from 1900 to 1909, and again Mary Ann from 1911 to 1913.

Given police had already suggested that neither the Rising Sun or Palmerston should be closed, the enquiry seems to have been something of a formality, although Licensing Constable Keevil described the building as of "poor type ", on land 52 by 65 feet, but added two cottages next door owned by Mrs Coffee could add another 34 feet frontage (whether to Eastern Road or Raglan Street was not revealed, but the current layout confirms Eastern Road).

Around eight hotels in the immediate vicinity extending up to Moray Street were closed during the hearings which extended from 1908 to 1926.

An architect revealed he had prepared plans to re-model and extend the hotel, extending the frontage to 49 feet and with a private entrance for lodgers off Eastern Road and a dining room of 25 by 14 feet, which the Chairman suggested "was very small if the public are to be profitably catered for ".  

The new plans encompassed ten bedrooms and expenditure of £1,700 was budgeted.  From the current structure, it seems almost certain that the building was demolished and the hotel rebuilt from scratch at a more substantial cost.

Today :

The Rising Sun still functions as a traditional hotel, the clientele appearing to be a mix of business people during the day and locals after hours.


Rising Sun Hotel, 1981 (below) today