James Wynne’s Shogroup has sold the leasehold of the Dunkirk Hotel in Pyrmont.

The leasehold of the inner-city pub was sold to a private investor with hotel interests across Sydney’s CBD and regional New South Wales. The off-market sale was facilitated by JLL’s senior vice president Kate MacDonald.

The Dunkirk Hotel underwent a significant renovation over two years following the on-set of Covid, including a refresh of the façade, expanding and enhancing the gaming room, and refurbishing the 12 accommodation rooms. Following this transformation, the hotel experienced a 400% uplift in revenue across all departments, resulting in a substantial EBITDA improvement.

“The hotel has undergone many changes, and we are thrilled with the remarkable turnaround in only 2.5 years of trading. We want to thank our passionate and loyal team, our regulars, and of course we wish the purchaser all the best in taking this outstanding pub to the next level,” commented Wynne.

Dunkirk Hotel also has an approved DA to construct a rooftop beer garden with retractable roof, which is expected to be a ‘game-changer’ for the venue and would further enhance the business’ trading proposition.

The pub continues to leverage off significant development projects in the area, including Mirvac’s transformation of Darling Harbour which is currently underway, Pyrmont’s newly approved Metro Station and the planned revitalisation of Sydney’s Fish Markets. 

“The Dunkirk presents a lot of exciting future opportunity with regards to its location, between The Star and the Sydney Fish Markets development, recent quality upgrades to the building, an approved DA to increase F&B patronage, and of course a strong revenue foundation across all departments,” suggested MacDonald.

“In the current interest rate environment, investing in a long-term lease appears to be of increasing appeal to astute hoteliers looking to boost cash flow within portfolios.”

Pub sales in Sydney have been relatively slow in the last few months, particularly after a boom of sales during and post-covid, with many long-held and family-owned hotels selling for the first time in generations as values soared. But transactions have slowed over the last few months as interest rates have increased, with assets in the Sydney market tightly held.

However, a few announced sales in the last month suggest that hotel transaction activity in the capital city are picking up again. Close to the CBD, Glenn Piper acquired The Commodore in early May for $29m, while it was announced last week that Fraser Short and Scott Leach had sold the much-loved LGBTQIA+ pub Imperial Hotel to Universal Hotels. In Sydney’s south, Feros Hotel Group acquired the Engadine Tavern, adding to its stable of pubs in the area.

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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