Historic Quay st building revived back to life with Tearooms
BREATHTAKINGLY beautiful from the moment you step through the doors, a historic Quay St building has been brought back to life.
Known as the former Rees R & Sydney Jones building and prior to this, the Queensland National Bank building, 186 Quay St has been transformed into a stunning eatery, Riverston Tearooms.
Jim Ellrott and wife Maria bought the building in early 2015 then waited for the Fitzroy Riverfront Precinct project to be completed.
"It has been a very long time coming and it is a credit to everyone who has worked on the building... we really appreciate the level of commitment they gave us,” Ms Ellrott said.
From seating outside to take in the majestic view of the river, to the grand entrance inside where you are drawn to glamorous chandeliers, the building encompasses all things classic and historical with a touch of modern.
The Ellrotts have combined their other business, antique store House of Treasures, within the tearooms.
It is also a family business, with their children, Caitlin, Hannah (White) and Luke working there.
Mr Ellrott said: "It is a place where people can come and enjoy, sit for a while, (and) enjoy the atmosphere.
"We have bric a brac for sale and we will have a section of estate jewellery.
"We don't only sell tea, we have coffee, we have everything that a good coffee shop has.”
The building underwent significant restoration work to achieve a high quality outcome.
A set of stairs installed in the 1980s were removed to open the main room, and the floors were revived.
"We kept the original components and enhanced them to come back to their former glory,” Mr Ellrott said.
Open Tuesday-Sunday: 7am - 3pm
186 Quay St
High Teas and Functions also on offer
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With a spectacular view over the new riverfront, the couple also renovated upstairs as their living quarters.
"I look at the river every morning and it's lovely, it's really relaxing, we can sit on our verandah, we soak in the atmosphere, we can see everything from fish jumping, pelicans swimming, horses on the other side...it is just incredible,” Mr Ellrott said.
"And you would not think that you were in the centre of a major provincial city.”
Born and bred in Rockhampton, Mr Ellrott has always had a love for the classic buildings the city has.
It was the perfect opportunity when the building that was built in 1880 came up for sale.
"I have been always been interested in historical buildings and architecture, having the antique shop when the building came up... I thought I could see our business moving into that, it complements the building,” he said.
"The potential that the old buildings have... we are very fortunate... If you go other cities, they don't have what we have.”
Sitting in the antique style leather lounge inside the tearooms, Mr Ellrott still could not fathom he owned the building and his dream was a success.
Coming into Rees R and Sydney Jones office when they had it for 36 years, from 1976 to 2012, he "never, ever” imagined he would one day own it.
See more of the building's history in tomorrow's Morning Bulletin.