Following hot on an incredible 2019 for the pub sales market, 2020 has started positively for the industry with the Harbord Beach Hotel, in the Sydney suburb of Freshwater changing hands for the first time in 42 years.

In a private, off-market sales, Northern Beaches local Glenn Piper has bought the hotel from John Thorpe and Trish King, who took over as owners in 1978. Piper said he was delighted to take on the venue and keeping it as a local institution for years to come.

“With the magnificent Freshwater Beach at its door, Harbord Beach Hotel is undoubtedly one of Sydney’s greatest pubs. I’m so proud to be part of the Northern Beaches community and honoured to help usher this incredible venue into the next phase of its rich and colourful history.”

Piper, who has a background in property, has partnered with fellow Northern Beaches resident Lachlan Cottee and a small syndicate of local investors on the purchase, and together they will be putting together a team of hospitality talent to lead the charge.

“Harbord Beach Hotel has always been a haven that encapsulates Freshwater’s soul and spirit,” Piper said. “It is so much more than a pub; it is an extension of the community, informed by the surf culture that has long been embedded within the name, and we are committed to taking our time and doing it justice.”

Thorpe and King’s son, Sean King has been General Manager of the pub for the last two decades and said his parents agreed to sell to Piper once they realised the venue would be in safe hands and its legacy would be protected.

“My brothers, sister and I were raised in this pub and I have lived opposite for the past 25 years; it is a very special property that means so much to my family and the local community,” Sean said.

“After meeting Glenn, we recognised that he not only has the energy and enthusiasm to bring new life to the venue, but importantly a genuine love for the area that will ensure this local pub remains a local. I am very much looking forward to enjoying it as a regular and watch it evolve under Glenn’s care and ownership.”

Piper added: Freshwater has held a very special place in my heart since my wife gave birth to my first child in our home here, but it has now taken on a whole new meaning. It will be a privilege to continue Patricia King and John Thorpe’s legacy and serve the local community.”

Piper will receive the keys to the property on 10 February and will spend the coming months getting to know the staff and locals in venue, before refining plans for a refurbishment.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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