Covid lockdowns have not slowed inner city pub sales, the latest of which sees Arthur Laundy join forces with hospitality entrepreneur Aaron Crinis to buy the Woolpack Hotel in Sydney’s Redfern.

Geordie Clark and James Henty owned and operated the multiple level property for 12 years before selling the venue on the city fringe for an undisclosed sum.

“We have more than enjoyed our time at the helm of this exciting business, and in doing so have witnessed Redfern’s growth as a compelling Sydney suburb in which to operate a significant business,” Henty said.

The freehold sale was put to market via a public EOI campaign and attracted “huge footfall in terms of interest”, according to HTL Property’s Dan Dragicevich, Sam Handy and Andrew Jolliffe, who managed the sale.

The Woolpack has a prominent street frontage and a broad range of revenue centres, according to HTL Property, which all enjoy a strong local following.

It’s the latest in a series of regional purchases by the Laundy family, including the $22m acquisition of the Springdale Heights Tavern in Albury.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to buy unique hotel assets, and to partner with good operators who, in concert with what we have learned during our time in the industry, can combine with us to extract whatever upside might be inherent and available,” Arthur Laundy said.

Another nearby pub, the Grosvenor Hotel in Waterloo, is also going under the hammer in a freehold sale being managed by HTL Property, and strong sales are also being seen in Melbourne’s city fringe with the sale of the leasehold interest in Melbourne’s Foresters Beer and Music Hall in Collingwood.

CBRE Hotels’ pub director Mathew George negotiated the sale on behalf of Craft Beer Market, completing the group’s exit from the Melbourne pub business after an earlier sale of The Terminus in Fitzroy North.

George said the latest deal highlighted the continued strength in Melbourne’s F&B pub sector, following a series of recent pub deals in the surrounding including the Robert Burns, The Albion Hotel, The Gem, The Leinster Arms and the Gasometer.

“We are seeing continued high demand from the hospitality sector for this area of Melbourne given the growing popularity of the city fringe as a live, work and play destination,” George said.

“A surge in high density residential development over the past decade has underpinned buyer interest in well positioned assets like the Foresters Beer and Music Hall, which occupies the well-known corner of Smith Street, Collingwood and Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.”

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