Iconic site of Fitzroy’s circa-1853 Labour in Vain hotel sells for $6.6m

197 and 197B Brunswick St, Fitzroy - for herald sun real estate.

Home to the historic Labour in Vain hotel, the building at 197 and 197B Brunswick St, Fitzroy, has sold.

A historic Fitzroy property including the Labour in Vain hotel has sold for $6.6m, a massive $6.5125m more than it last sold for 26 years ago.

The owners of the building at 197 and 197B Brunswick St, also home to long-running craft and stationary store Zetta Florence and Cafe Louis, paid $87,500 for the site in 1996, according to CoreLogic.

Colliers Melbourne City sales manager George Davies said a leading Melbourne hospitality operator snapped up the property.

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The buyer has “major refurbishment plans in the future to create a multi-disciplined hospitality

destination to accommodate locals, tourists and surrounding workers”, a Colliers sales analysis document stated.

Labour in Vain and Zetta Florence signed leases with building’s former owner that run until 2026, while Cafe Louis subleases from Zetta Florence.

The hotel is included a Yarra Council heritage overlay applied to part of Brunswick St.

Labour In Vain was built by Fitzroy resident George Hyde who constructed a bluestone premises on the Brunswick St corner and opened the hotel in 1853.

197 & 197B Brunswick St, Fitzroy - for Herald Sun real estate

Inside the Labour in Vain hotel.

197 & 197B Brunswick St, Fitzroy - for Herald Sun real estate

The long-running craft and stationary store Zetta Florence.

The hotel’s licensee of 18 years, Roman Leopoldseder, runs the business with his wife Helen as partner and daughter Vanessa as venue manager.

Before Vanessa, their late daughter Anthea was the venue’s manager.

In September, Mr Leopoldseder said he hoped to continue operating the pub under the new owner.

The hotel is a popular live music venue where acts including Amyl and the Sniffers, Grace Cummings and the late Spencer P Jones have played.

197 & 197B Brunswick St, Fitzroy - for Herald Sun real estate

The site is a popular gathering spot for locals.

197 & 197B Brunswick St, Fitzroy - for Herald Sun real estate

Zetta Florence has been based in Brunswick St for about 24 years, after relocating from Gertrude St.

Mr Davies said the more than 128 buyers inquired about the property and 21 purchasers conducted inspections.

“Interest was received from a wide range of buyers including investors, developers, land bankers and future owner-occupiers,” Mr Davies said.

The site sold in a private sale after being passed in at auction.

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