Strand, Tauranga, c.1910 Image courtesy of Justine Neal
Building of the Commercial Hotel began July 1876 on the site previously occupied as a timber yard. The hotel was built for Mr. Joseph Ellis, the first proprietor. On 24 July 1900 the Commercial Hotel was lit up in front with hydron carbon gas, being reported as the first installation of gas in Tauranga. At one stage it seemed to fashionable for policemen to resign from the force and take over as licensees of hotels. 1911 saw Constable Quirk resign to take over the Commercial. In November 1916 the hotel, along with several other buildings on The Strand, was destroyed by fire. A new hotel built on the site opened 2 September 1918.