The Turf Bar and Restaurant opened in March 2000, as “The Turf Accountants”, which is the original licensed name for a bookie or bookmaker. This term is not common in Australia, it originated in the United Kingdom where Turf Accountants can still be found today operating on a professional level. 131 Queen Street was originally the Victorian Club, which was the settling ground for local bookmakers and their elite clientele.
A Plaque at the venue reads:
Notoriety came to this building on Wednesday April 21, 1976 at 12.05pm when six armed robbers barricaded the Victorian Club on level two, where bookmakers were preparing to “settle” with clients after a particularly profitable Easter racing carnival.
The haul was at least $6 million and possibly much more. Nobody was ever convicted for participating in the massive sting, Victoria’s biggest at the time. However the money proved too hot to handle and all the major suspects are no longer with us, early scratchings from the race of their lives.
This momentous event became known as The Great Bookie Robbery
See more photos on the Turf Sports Bar website