Fitzroy Town Hall Hotel
It has been McCoppin’s, Griff’s Wine Pub and Purple Turtle. Originally, though, it was called Town Hall Hotel.
Now owners (and husband and wife) Sean and Natalie Donovan have transformed it again. They looked through historical photographs of the building before they renovated it, and they have loosely returned the the pub to what it was.
There is still a casual front-bar area, two separate dining rooms, a wine cellar and an upstairs area. The front bar and main dining room have been redone in shades of deep blue, with charcoal-stained wood panels, textured wallpaper and tartan light shades. The second, more casual dining room (known as “the conservatory”) is filled with light and greenery to reference what was once a courtyard garden.
The wine cellar is untouched, and can still be reserved for private dining. Upstairs there’s a large marble bar, a lounge area and a small public dining section. There’s also another private dining space and a small balcony.
The cuisine is a blend of French technique with Australian barbecue. Donovan trained with French-born UK chef Pierre Koffmann in the ’90s (as did his head chef, Anna Quayle, although much more recently). A red-gum wood-fired barbeque is used to grill a variety of meat, chicken and seafood.