The site of the notorious Bubbles Bath-House, illegal casino and massage parlour at the centre of the Fitzgerald Inquiry has sold for $1.63M. It is now home to Les Bubbles, a popular bar and restaurant.
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.
Inside Les Bubbles, where management have made it crystal clear that it is no longer a brothel.
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.
The iconic property, with a net leasable area of 543sq m and land area of 238sq m over three levels, was marketed by the Ray White Commercial Gold Coast Commercial Sales duo Simon Robertson and Brad Merkur.
144 Wickham Terrace 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.
Mr Robertson said the historical back story 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,” Mr Robertson said.
“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”.
Les Bubbles is a Parisian steakhouse on the corner of Wickham and Little Street in Fortitude Valley.
Mr Merkur said the winning bidder was 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 said.
Meanwhile, another site that was also a key location probed during Queensland’s biggest ever corruption inquiry is also being transformed.
RELATED: Bowen Hills house linked to infamous corruption case to make way for new development
The art deco house at 29 Jordan Tce, Bowen Hills was central to the Fitzgerald Inquiry, but has been demolished to make way for a townhouse development
Essah Developments is constructing The Jordan Residences at 29 Jordan Terrace, Bowen Hills.
The original art deco-style house, which was demolished to make way for six townhouses, was linked to Vic Conte, Geraldo Bellino and Jack (The Bagman) Herbert
Italian-born Conte and Sicilian-born Bellino were partners in illegal casinos and massage parlours in the 1980s.
This hole in the wall was reportedly used to stash cash
Herbert, a former policeman, was the mastermind behind a racket known as The Joke, which saw bribes exchanged between crooks and crooked cops.
A render showing the external outlook at The Jordan Residences
A render showing the living space inside one of The Jordan Residences
The scheme would eventually be exposed, leading to some of Queensland’s most influential movers and shakers being jailed for official corruption following the Fitzgerald Inquiry.
FURTHER READING: Brothel offers bang for buck