Kickon Group has exchanged on the Sunshine Coast venue The Dock in Mooloolaba, with settlement to take place in November.

The Dock is the flagship venue in The Wharf precinct on the Mooloolah River. The group were presented with the leasehold opportunity by JLL a few months ago, and after visiting the site, decided it was an ideal fit to the group’s portfolio and operational model.

“We typically look for venues that are food-led, and food is a huge part of this business,” stated Kickon Group founder and director Craig Shearer.

“We’re also pretty adamant that a venues has got to have a really great ambience, and there’s just an overall great vibe to the place. And we certainly felt that in The Dock with its great food and the amazing staff. We knew that it was a business that we would be able to add value to under our normal operating structures.”

As part of the acquisition, Kickon Group has continued its Pub Partner Programme, which allows Kickon Group employees who have been an integral part of the business to become pub owners and partners across new venue purchases.

Tim Lucas, who has managed the Plough Inn in Brisbane for the group, takes an ownership stake in The Dock alongside Kickon Group.

“It’s really exciting for us, because it’s another generation stepping into it. Tim Lucas has been managing the Plough Inn for us in Brisbane, under the mentorship of Richard Harrison, who was our last pub partner who was under the mentorship of Sam Capogreco, who was our first pub partner, so it’s going full circle now, and these guys are creating their own legacy, which is just really exciting for us. We’re really proud to see Tim take that next step,” stated Shearer.

The director said the Pub Partner Programme allowed for both a literal and figurative investment in the group by ambitious and talented staff.

“It just shows a very clear pathway for anyone that works in our team, that there are very clear steps that you can take to be an owner of one of these businesses with us.

“Tim’s done the hard yards and worked really hard, ensuring that this opportunity was there for him. We’re pleased to offer it to him.”

Kickon Group has also struck up a good relationship with the landlords of The Dock, which has resulted in an extended lease term over the venue, but also the opportunity for a new lease on a blank space on the first level of the wharf precinct.

“We will be commence fitout for that early New Year and grow a new event space for Mooloolaba, which we think there’s a real opening in the market to provide,” stated Shearer.

As for The Dock, Kickon Group has no plans to make any changes when its takes over operations in November.

“It’s a really beautiful space, and the team there are doing a great job. So for us, it’s more about settling in with as little disruption as possible and get through the upcoming Christmas and busy holiday period. And then well look at opportunities to improve the business over the next few years after that.”

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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