Built in the early twentieth century, 163 Manchester Street was originally an office building and showrooms. 

The building at 163 Manchester Street was situated on the site which was formed from parts of town sections 902 and 901. A right of way, which ran west from Manchester Street before turning north to Cashel Street, separated part of 902 from the remaining section to the south. 

By 1896, the shoeing forge of Richard Robert Tucker was situated on the site. In May 1911, Twentyman Wilson took over the forge, which by then had the address of 163 Manchester Street. By January 1912 the property had been purchased by James Jamieson and William Graham Jamieson. At the time, it was again occupied by Tucker, as in the initial months of 1912, Wilson was facing charges of perjury. The property was still owned by William Graham Jamieson in 1929.

The building was possibly constructed prior to 1916, when it became the site of the jewellery manufacturing firm of Taylor and Co. Given that J. and W. Jamieson was a building and contracting firm, it is possible that they oversaw its construction with the intention of leasing the building out to businesses. 

Facing Manchester Street, the building stood at a height of three storeys. The exterior was unreinforced brickwork which was visible on the southern façade and the first floor of the eastern façade. However, the façade of the second floor was covered in plaster and scored to resemble stonework. The first floor had three rectangular windows which looked out onto Manchester Street, while the second floor had three arched windows. 

Taylor and Co remained in occupancy of the building until the early 1950s. Over this time, they would share the occupancy with a variety of other firms.

On 14 February 1917, Quirk Safety Air Gas opened their showrooms in the building. They would remain there until 1921.

By August 1923, Toledo Scale Company, Hobart Manufacturing Company, Berkel Slicing Machine Company, Measuregraph Company, and Jackson’s Instantaneous Boilers, were situated in the building. On 27 August, they amalgamated to become Toledo-Berkel and (N.Z) Agencies Company with A. Houston as the general manager. By 1933, Toledo-Berkel had become Hobart-Berkel. The company remained on site until c.1938.

In 1927, Herbert Edwin Barnsley opened his boot repair business in the building. Other related businesses which later occupied the building included R. Robinson, in 1942, and A. Anderson in 1950. 

In 1955, the building became the premises of the Municipal Officers’ Association. The building was possibly purchased by the Christchurch City Council, as in December 1960, the council offered a tender for the lease of the first and second floors of the building. 

In 1961, the first and second floors of the building became part of the adjoining Embassy Hotel (165 Manchester Street) which had been built in 1940. The lounge on the first floor of the hotel was joined, via a set of steps, with the first floor of 163 Manchester Street to become a split level dining room. Stairs, accessed from the third floor of the hotel, led down to the second floor of 163 Manchester Street which had been converted into four bedrooms to provide further accommodation. 

By April 1962, Checkers Restaurant and Cabaret had opened on the first floor as part of the Embassy Hotel. The ground floor became the Buffet tea rooms in 1977.

In early 1978, Checkers (then also known as Bumps Nightspot) was closed due to there being no permit for the club to trade as a restaurant. However, it appeared to be operating again by April, when a fire broke out in one of the ground floor bars of the hotel. In May 1979, the police applied to remove the licence of John H. Booth, the licensee of the Embassy Hotel. The hotel closed on 22 June 1979.

By 1980, the building, as part of the Embassy Hotel, was for sale. The ground floor, which by then was trading as Chester’s Café, remained independent of the upper floors.

In 1987, the Great Gatsby Eating House was operating in the building. By 1993, these had become tearooms. Chester’s Café was still situated on the ground floor of the building when, by 1994, it was purchased by the Yee family.

Around this time, the first and second floor were converted into the brothel, Secrets Massage Lounge. The first floor featured was reached by stairs which were access from Manchester Street. On the first floor was a reception room situated on the southern side. From there, a door opened into a lounge at the eastern end of the floor. At the western end of the floor was a kitchen. Stairs continued up to the second floor where the four bedrooms, which had originally been part of the Embassy Hotel, remained for use. In 1999, the brothel became Mahogany Hall.

In 2001, the ground floor premises was converted into Woori Restaurant. By 2003, the ground floor was Arirang Restaurant and the brothel on the upper floors had become Stacey’s Massage Lounge. 

By 2009, the ground floor restaurant was Funkn Fish n Chips. By 2011, this had become Big Bowl. 

Both Big Bowl and Stacey’s Massage Lounge were the occupants of the building when it was damaged in the February 2011 earthquake. It was subsequently demolished.