CYCLOPEDIA OF NZ 1897
Empire Hotel, [Hamilton Gilmer, Proprietor], James Stevenson, Manager; Willis and Victoria Streets, Wellington. Telephone 186; P.O. Box 256. Bankers, Bank of New South Wales. This well-known hostelry, reputed to be one of the best commercial houses in the Colony, was established over forty years ago. The present propietor, whose name is familiar as a landlord, owns the freehold of this fine property. which extends right through from Willis Street to Victoria Street, and has conducted the business since 1886. The Empire Hotel is a large two-storey building, possessing two balconies, that to the front commanding busy Willis Street, and the one at the back affording views of the shipping and harbour of Port Nicholas. The hotel has a spacious private entrance for ladies and families, quite separate from the bar and communicating with the residential part of the house by a graceful staircase. The house is well known for its excellent accommodation for ladies, including as it does a fine sitting-room besides three suites of rooms which are all well and elegantly furnished. As a commercial house the `Empire' possesses splendid conveniences, a very large commercial-room and a good reading-room being situated on the first floor, while ten good sample-rooms are on the ground floor. For the convenience of travellers and others arriving late, a night porter, who also does duty as watchman, is in attendance. The dining-room is a spacious apartment - noted for its comfort - capable of seating one hundred guests at the same time. Mr. Gilmer employs a first class chef de cuisine, and there is no wonder that the table d'hote is well patronised by city men. The Empire Hotel is centrally situated in one of the busiest thoroughfares of the City, and is not far from the Post Office, banks, and shipping.
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