Earlier this week, Australian Venue Co confirmed the acquisition of Sweetwater Rooftop in Perth, making it the fourth venue for the group in Western Australia. This is just the beginning of the group’s planned expansion in the state.

Sweetwater Rooftop is an open-air bar and restaurant that focuses on cocktails and Asian cuisine, located in East Fremantle. While Australian Venue Co has acquired the venue, it will continue to be run by current operators Jarrod Carmody and chef Leigh Power.

“Over the last 3 years, we’ve seen remarkable growth as we’ve adopted and created some of the most exciting brands in the Australian hospitality industry”, said Paul Waterson, CEO of Australian Venue Co.

“Sweetwater Rooftop is a brilliant addition to the portfolio and we are thrilled to welcome the team into the fold.”

Western Australia expansion

Australian Venue Co is planning a larger expansion into Western Australia, with Joe Bailey, the group’s previous divisional area manager of Melbourne CBD venues, moving to the role of WA state manager. The newly created role for Australian Venue Co is an indication of the group’s plans to expand their presence in the state.

Bailey, who has spent almost two decades working in hospitality, running venues in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, regional New South Wales and the Northern Territory, said the group had identified WA as a growing market.

“We are looking at locations where we see opportunity. We can see some good investment in the pub industry in WA, consumer confidence is on the rise – it’s a good place to be.”

Plans are in motion to have a portfolio of 12-15 venues in the state within 18 months to two years.

“Twelve to 15 venues is us really establishing a solid footprint in the state, we would absolutely take on more, but 12 to 15 is the goal,” Bailey told Australian Hotelier.

While Perth is the most likely location for this expansion in Western Australia, Bailey said the group would not rule out looking elsewhere in the state, noting that Australian Venue Co does primarily focus on inner city or central suburban locations.

“Typically we target pubs that turn over more than $5 million and have a minimum 10-year lease; ideally they are within 10 km of the CBD but as suggested we would go anywhere for the right opportunity.”

Besides Sweetwater Rooftop, Australian Venue Co also owns the The Aviary, The Guildford Hotel and Wolf Lane in Perth, having acquired them late last year from the Publican Group.

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