Notorious former Bubbles Bath-House brothel sells
It was once the site of Brisbane’s notorious Bubbles Bath-House, illegal casino and massage parlour, and was a key location during the Fitzgerald Inquiry.
Now it is a popular steakhouse known as Les Bubbles, a venue with the words “We regret to inform you we are no longer a brothel — Management” emblazoned above the bar in neon red lights.
The site at 144 Wickham St in Fortitude Valley was auctioned on the weekend, with a bidding frenzy seeing it change hands for $1.63 million, well above its reserve, according to Ray White.
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The iconic property, with a net leasable area of 543sqm and land area of 238sqm over three levels, was marketed by the Ray White Commercial Gold Coast Commercial Sales duo Simon Robertson and Brad Merkur.
Robertson says the historical backstory of the site meant interest and inquiries were strong throughout the campaign.
“There was such a strong buzz around this opportunity and we had more than 50 separate enquiries leading up to the auction,” Robertson says.
“You could sense in the room the registered bidders really appreciated what was on offer, and the fact the final sale price was more than double the opening bid, highlights that.
“The auction came down to the final two with more than half the 50 bids coming from those two bidders alone.”
The property was marketed as a “a rogues gallery of corruption and misconduct (which) is highlighted throughout the restaurant/bar and is an essential stop for connoisseurs of Brisbane’s past”.
Merkur says the winning bidder is a Queensland investor who understood how iconic the property was to Fortitude Valley.
“When you think of the Valley, you think of Les Bubbles and most people will know someone who has been there for a meal, a drink or a massage,” he says.
This article from the Courier Mail originally appeared as “Fortitude Valley site linked to Qld’s Fitzgerald Inquiry sells after bidding frenzy”.