History

Koroit Hotel was Established in 1853 by David McLaws a Scottish carpenter and pioneer.  McLaws built a two-storey bluestone hotel with large stables erected at the rear and in 1869, an assembly room was added to be used for concerts, dances, lectures, auctions and other public meetings.

In 1877, he sold the land and buildings to Robert Bruce, a local State Parliamentarian.  Bruce altered the exterior of the hotel by rendering the bluestone walls with plaster and rough cast.  In the early part of the 20th century, the subsequent owner, J.F.Duffus, also a State Parliamentarian, commissioned a leading architect to remodel the exterior as a spectacular elaborate Art Noveau styled hotel, known as the "Menzies of the Bush."

Upon Duffus' death in 1922 the hotel was sold to Edmund (Neddy) Bourke.  The hotel earned an outstanding reputation under the management of Michael Bourke, the son of Edmund, and owned by the Bourke family from 1922 to 2000.  The hotel has always been a popular venue for Irish music and draws a grand crowd for St Patrick's Day celebrations.

The fifth owners of the hotel, in its 150 years, Bruce and Wendy Murley have brought the hotel back to life again being the centre of the annual Lake School of Celtic Song, Music and Dance, Koroit Irish Festival and links with the Port Fairy Folk Festival.  The hotel has strong hsitory ties with the town's Irish heritage an icon and meeting place for the community of Koroit.