Regional pub operators Harvest Hotels has added to its pub portfolio with the acquisition of Brady’s Railway Hotel in Albury, on the New South Wales/Victoria border for $9.6 million.

The hotel joins the regional New South Wales stable, which includes pubs in Tamworth, Yass and Orange.

“Our passion is pubs. Our aim has always been to operate the very best pubs in the very best regional communities – The Railway and Albury region really fit our vision for a Harvest Hotel and it will be a great next step for us,” commented Harvest Hotels director Fraser Haughton.

The off-market hotel sale was overseen by Ben McDonald of JLL Hotels & Hospitality on behalf of long-term private owners, the Attwood family, who retire from the hotel industry following a stellar career across NSW including major regional locations throughout the Central West and Riverina regions.

“Brady’s Railway Hotel is a large-format regional asset that represents a unique trading proposition in one of regional NSW’s strongest performing locations, Albury. The acquisition further highlights the ongoing confidence in the pub market despite fluctuating economic conditions and underscores the demand for operating real estate assets in key growth markets,” stated McDonald.

Harvest Hotels plans to initially operate The Railway as is to learn the ins and outs of the pub, understand its’ locals and get to know the preferences of the wider Albury community when it comes to a pub offering.

“We’re thrilled at the opportunity to own and operate The Railway. It’s really impressive building with great bones and it has a terrific history. It’s been run by some outstanding publicans over its years, and we can’t wait to make our own Harvest mark on The Railway in the future,” added Haughton.

Harvest Hotels will take over the operations of the pub from 1 December.

Renovations and sales

Besides the purchase of the Albury pub, Harvest Hotels has been doing a lot of work on and assessment of its portfolio this year.

In early September, the group reopened the doors to Tamworth’s oldest pub, The Courthouse Hotel. The Courthouse underwent a 14-month renovation which has seen a huge transformation to the venue’s building and ethos.

“The Courthouse has been an awesome journey for us, from operating the original pub, the renovation and the reopening. We are ready to expand this offering into a different region and create a pub that the Albury community can enjoy the same way Tamworth has The Courthouse so far,” stated Haughton.

Meanwhile, the group is also looking to sell its Tamworth restaurant, The Pig and Tinder Box, in an effort to focus on its expanding pub portfolio.

“We opened The Pig and Tinder in May 2015, and Tamworth really embraced the unique experience that The Pig offered from the get-go. It has been a great springboard for us to grow our business, but now it’s time for us to channel our focus into the pub sector which will now allow for the right operator to come and cement the offering of The Pig in Tamworth.

“We have loved every minute of The Pig, and we hope that Tamworth have enjoyed it as much as we have.”

The Railway Hotel, Albury.


Featured image: Harvest Hotels directors Fraser Haughton (left) and Chris Cornforth.

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