Newcastle-based Hunt Hospitality has acquired the recently renovated Imperial Hotel in Maitland in the NSW Hunter region, bringing its pub portfolio to six.

The off-market sale sees the Imperial join the ranks of the group’s other Hunter-based venues, The Kent Hotel, The Duke of Wellington, The Seabreeze Hotel, Finnian’s Tavern and the Ocean View Hotel.

Manenti Quinlan & Associates, which managed the sale together with Moore and Moore Real Estate, last sold the pub four years ago to outgoing owner Imperial Hospitality Group.

The Imperial was built in 1851 when goods were still delivered via small barges and water vessels in the Hunter River. From 1994, the Imperial Hotel featured the Shenanigans Irish pub and had a timber interior and a red and green colour scheme.

During its ownership, Imperial Hospitality Group undertook an extensive refurbishment which saw the hotel transform from an old Irish-style pub into a modern art deco venue featuring contemporary and spacious interiors.

Steve Hunt of Hunt Hospitality praised the renovation, saying he would mainly be upgrading the Imperial’s food and beverage offering and getting involved in the community by supporting local sports clubs and charities.

“The previous owners did a really good job with the renovation, and the buildings are structurally in really good shape, so we don’t have to do a lot there for a while,” he said.

“I live in Maitland, and being part of the local community, I’ve got big plans to tap into the community through sponsorships of local sports clubs.”

On Friday, the Imperial opened its doors for the first time under its new ownership to the locked-down Maitland community with a takeaway schnitzel offer that attracted 300 locals.  

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