Trent Meade and Matt Blyth, directors of Revelry Entertainment, have been operating nightclubs in Brisbane for several years but are now transitioning to pubs and F&B with new vehicle, Celissa.

The pair are exiting the nightclub scene with the sale of The Met, and plan to open new hospitality business Celissa, focusing on pubs and other F&B venues. Meade (pictured left) discussed the move with Australian Hotelier.

Why sell The Met now? It’s quite a successful business.

That’s the perfect reason we think. In our industry, we’ve noticed, you don’t always get the chance to sell when you want to sell. We’ve had a good four-and-a-half years at the venue. We really believe in creating win-win solutions, so we think the next person can come in and hit the ground running immediately because they’re taking over a profitable business. And hopefully that gives them a fairly quick return on investment as well. It allows us to transition to pubs, food and beverage which is the direction we’re looking at going in anyway. So it ties in quite nicely.

Why are you pivoting into pubs and F&B?

Matt and I are getting a bit older, and have young families. We always had a time limit in our heads about how long to stay in the nightclub game. We’ve taken the opportunities as they’ve come. But Matt’s got three young girls at a really critical time, and I’ve got a six-month-old boy at home, and we just think that moving into food & beverage assets and pubs is more amenable to having young families. And it’s also important to our wives. They also set a time limit on that and I think they’re quite happy. So Celissa is the combination of the names Cecilia and Melissa – my wife is Cecilia and Matt’s wife is Melissa. They’re the most important people in our lives, they’ve been very supportive while we’ve gone on this hospitality journey. It was tough times in the early days, and now they’ve given us beautiful families, so Celissa is born out of the respect and love for those two. And they’ll be involved in our ventures going forward in the pub and F&B game.

Celissa is currently in the midst of finalising a deal on a venue in the CBD, with hopes to a launch an F&B proposition in March next year. Meade and Blyth are also looking at a couple of opportunities in Fortitude Valley, including transforming their GPO nightclub into a seven-day-a-week trading pub.

The Met was being sold via an EOI campaign handled by Glenn Price of Ray White Hotels. The campaign concluded on Wednesday 22 November.

This Q&A is an excerpt of a more in-depth interview with Trent Meade that will run in the December issue of Australian Hotelier.

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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