The Bar in the Bank
The Gresham Hotel – once a Brisbane icon best remembered for a famous battle, is now revered for a bottle... of the finest whiskey and rum available today.
The Gresham nestles inside a former NAB building constructed in 1881, just a stone’s throw from the original Gresham Hotel outside of which about a thousand American and Australian soldiers fought a street battle that will live in infamy. Far from those tense wartime years, The Gresham bar offers a warmth and sophistication absolutely unmatched in Brisbane.
The Gresham was recently fitted-out by hand to exacting heritage requirements by Colonial Restoration Supplies. And their choice of timber? Britton Timbers American White Oak.
The lavish interior of the Gresham is redolent of an English Gentlemen’s Club or a nineteenth century New York bar. Mark Percival from Colonial Restoration Supplies says his 'brief' was to retain the original character of the NAB building.
"We chose Britton’s American White Oak to make sure we could replicate the feel of an old bar. American White Oak holds a stain really well and in this case we used walnut stain."
Making an eight-metre bar look one hundred-plus years old is not easy and Mark says many techniques were employed. "We had to stress the bar top – putting in dents, cigarette burns and drink stains to capture a sense of the past. American White Oak took it well and the results speak for themselves."
Mark says his company made corner pieces, tables and a massive library bookcase, all from Britton’s American White Oak.
The Gresham has the only 'Heritage Bar License' in Brisbane with more than one hundred and fifty whiskeys and rums all displayed in a magnificent showcase. Of course beers, ciders, cocktails and wines are available and great food to accompany them.
Step-in to The Gresham to experience a bygone era that only true craftsmen using exactly the right timbers, can create