If you've visited the Valley over the last twenty years(ish), then you would know about a little corner of the trendy inner city suburb that has an interesting and checkered past. The Wickham Hotel is well known in the Valley as being a traditional gay venue (LGBTI) since 1996 and it's fair to say a rollicking good time has been had by many an adventurous Brisbanite. While it's recent past has been dominated by the Big Gay Day and if memory serves me correct, Boy George spinning some tunes on the 'ones and twos', the Hotel has been around for a lot longer.
Originally estabilished in 1885 by famous Brisbane architect Richard Gailey, The Wickham began it's life as the Oriental Hotel and for all intents and purposes was one of the 'grand old pubs' of Brisbane. It's a pub that SC had spent a bit of time in 'back in the day' when it would be Sunday beers between Ricks Bar and the Wickham Hotel. The hotel has been ever changing and if you frequent the Valley or drive down Wickham Terrace, you would have noticed that the next incarnation of the hotel has been underway.
We were pretty excited to be invited along with a number of Brisbane bloggers to check out the renovations and get a peek of the new renovations. Given that the Valley is a short walk for us, we'd taken the opportunity to have a nice easy walk into the Valley for our Wickham experience. We'd entered through the new 'car park' area, which used to be the Wickham's car park but was not an outdoor dining area. It was a large space with lots of share dining tables spaced about, as well as some group seating around different sized cable 'barrels'. It wasn't until we walked through to the main part of the pub that we saw the magic.