Australian Venue Co (AVC) has taken on the leasehold of the Sarah Sands Hotel in Brunswick, Melbourne.

The historic corner pub has had a storied history since its establishment in 1854, from popular ‘six o’clock swill’ house in the 1950s, to adult club in the 1980s. It was most recently known as Irish pub Birdie O’Reillys, until it was bought by developers Peregrine Projects in 2015 for $6 million. The hotel ceased trading in early 2017.

The pub has since been shut as Peregrine have fielded offers from hospitality operators, and developed plans to include a seven-storey apartment and retail complex on the site also, with an estimated value of $45 million. The hospitality group has signed on to a 10-year lease, with two ten-year options.

Australian Venue Co is planning on reopening the venue as a gastropub, serving pub classics, as well as premium meat and seafood. The two-storey pub will have multiple bar and restaurant spaces to appeal to the discerning Brunswick crowd.

Australian Venue Co CEO Paul Waterson said the Sarah Sands Hotel was an exciting addition to the group’s portfolio.

“The addition of Sarah Sands allows us to grow our pub footprint in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, whilst filling a gap in the Brunswick market as a pub for all,” he said.

“Sarah Sands was infamous for her hospitality of previous generations and we hope to carry this forward and re-imagine the Sarah Sands experience as a new local favourite for north-siders”.

Sarah Sands Hotel is slated for a Spring 2020 launch.

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