Restaurant heavyweight John Kilroy is swapping the city for the coast - Jason Adcock


This property at 11/170 Bowen Terrace, New Farm is for sale via Expressions of Interest.

It’s the penthouse that helped showcase Queensland’s tourism and food industries to the world, hosting A-list film stars and even the Prime Minister, but for Brisbane businessman and restaurant extraordinaire John Kilroy, it has also been home.

“It’s been incredible living there,” he said of his six years at 11/170 Bowen Terrace, New Farm.


The two-storey Penthouse in New Farm.

“I went out to find a place that had 360-degree views and didn’t have neighbours staring into the unit and I wanted something where you could lock up and go away, whether I was mustering in the (Northern) Territory or whatever I needed to do. And with 18 lemon and lime trees and herbs and nuts growing there, it’s also like being on a farm.”


Uninterrupted city views.

Mr Kilroy grew up on the land in Western Queensland but followed his love of a good steak into the hospitality industry, buying pubs, restaurants and function venues over more than 40 years.

He retired from the industry last year with the sale of his famous steakhouse, Cha Cha Char, and at 69, is now three-quarters of the way through building his retirement pad at Hervey Bay on the Fraser Coast.


The apartment complex.

His two-storey New Farm penthouse, with a rooftop terrace that centres Brisbane’s CBD within the frame of the Story Bridge, attracted international interest early in its sales campaign with its African safari-themed rooms. It has now changed real estate agencies and is being sold via a tender process.


A dining room with a view.

It’s time to slow down,” Mr Kilroy said of the decision to sell.

“I’m enjoying not going to work. For 40 years I’d get home late at night seven days a week.

“It’s taken till the last couple of months to get used to it. You feel guilty at the start.”

Mr Kilroy bought the penthouse off-the-plan in 2013 and the 11 luxury apartments in the eight-storey complex were finished in 2015, with the penthouse undergoing a custom fit-out.

“I built it to entertain,” he said. “I came off the land and we always had big parties and weekends and so it’s based around that.

“There are catering kitchens on both floors because I know how to cater. I can seat 20 people for dinner any time I like.

“I used it to promote Queensland, our restaurants, and the beef industry, with foreign buyers for cattle and sheep.”


One of the catering kitchens.

He extends the list of invited guests to include then Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, Malcolm Turnbull, who was serving as Australia’s Prime Minister at the time, as well as A-list sports and film stars.

The residence has 280 sqm of alfresco entertaining space, including a ‘sky’ swimming pool. There are indoor and outdoor lounges, a gym, rooftop kitchen and bar, and an outdoor courtyard garden.

“I’m not big on airconditioning. I put it in but the cross flow ventilation does the job and because we face north, south and east, I have metal blinds and venetians and lots of gardens around my windows.”


Courtyard gardens are a feature.

One side features tropical plantings while behind the main bedroom, gum trees attract parrots, while lorikeets go for the nearby bottle brushes.

“I planted in a special product that is half hydroponic so there’s not a lot of weight up there,” he said.

Price: Expressions of Interest close April 30

Agent: Jason Adcock, Adcock Prestige, 0418 727 788

Agent says: The setting and uniqueness of this penthouse would rival some of the best penthouses in New York.

Jason Adcock - Prestige Property Specialist

Jason Adcock is the Principal of Adcock Prestige. He has been recognised by his peers for his energetic, dynamic approach to the Brisbane Prestige Property market and applauded for his innovative u… View full profile