Justin Hemmes has splashed out more than $30million to buy The Royal Hotel in Bondi.
The purchase cements Merivale Group’s position as biggest player in the Sydney pub scene.
Hemmes has spent more than $70 million on the purchase of three major Sydney hotels over the past three months – the Collaroy Hotel for about $21million, the Vic on the Park in Marrickville for about $23million and now the Royal Hotel for more than $30million.
His other big Sydney acquisitions include the Tennyson Hotel in Mascot, which he bought last December for $37.5million, and the Newport Arms, which he bought in 2015 for $46million. and re-opened in 2016 after a significant revamp.
Merivale operates 65 hospitality venues in Sydney, including such as the Ivy and the Establishment Bar in the Sydney CBD and the Coogee Pavilion.
The sale of the Royal Hotel was managed by JLL national director John Musca, who said: “The hotel market is witnessing its third significant phase of consolidation last experienced a decade ago, in particular with a return of capital support for food and beverage operations nationally.
“I can’t remember ever selling a hotel that attracted this level of interest, not surprising given Bondi’s burgeoning global status, the area’s gentrification and the hotel’s manifest repositioning potential.”
The Royal Hotel on Bondi Road was established in 1904 and has been run over the past four decades by the family of local publican Geoff Moulding. It currently has three levels including 20 guest rooms with 80 backpacker beds, a first-floor four-room office, lounges and a beer garden.
Merivale will also open doors to the second phase of The Newport and the refurbished Collaroy this summer. It expects to receive the keys to the Royal Hotel in July 2018.