A drawing of the building in 1920 when it was Rockhampton's Trade Hall. Drawing courtesy of CQUniversity Central Queensland collection.
A drawing of the building in 1920 when it was Rockhampton's Trade Hall. Drawing courtesy of CQUniversity Central Queensland collection.

Building's colourful past includes drug lab and trade hall

IF ONLY buildings could talk.

One of Rockhampton's most recognisable buildings, which carries a colourful history ranging from fire bombings, drug lab, movie theatre and trade hall, is about to start a new chapter.

The site, on the corner of Bolsover and Fitzroy Streets, has become the new base for a pawnbroker.

131 Bolsover St has had a makeover from its most recent past as an Italian restaurant.

Yesterday, The Bulletin delved into the archives to look at the site's history.

Dr Barbara Webster from CQUniversity, who has written a detailed thesis on the history of the building, said it has faced many struggles over the years.

"It has been a white elephant, really. Even in its early days it has faced problems," she said.

"The Trades Hall Board of Management wanted a theatre where they could hold plays and dances, but nobody ever really supported that and they were constantly struggling to pay for it."

It has been used as the Trades Hall in the 1920s, a theatre in the 1970s, a secondhand store and a string of nightclubs and restaurants.

But 1989 is a year to remember for those who were partying at Shark Nightclub on November 10.

At 3am the nightclub was bombed, causing extensive damage to the building.

A fireman and police officer suffered serious injuries after another explosion went off while they were at the scene.

Another business to remember was Feel's Good Family restaurant that was reopened by Dennis Vanjak in 2005, after a fire ripped through the building.

The fire cost Mr Vanjak $70,000 in repairs.

The most recent fiasco for the building was the finding of a drug lab in 2011, when it was Di Carlos Italian restaurant.



He tracked her car, called 200+ times daily after break-up

premium_icon He tracked her car, called 200+ times daily after break-up

MARK Jason Rogers was described by a judge as 'emotionally unhinged'

Council tackles climate change with bold new plans

premium_icon Council tackles climate change with bold new plans

ELECTRONIC cars, renewable energy and floating solar farm possible

Special history behind memorial shed burnt down by children

premium_icon Special history behind memorial shed burnt down by children

FOR some it may have just been a shed, but not for the O'Donnells

Local Partners