Richard Harrison of Kickon Group

Kickon Group has acquired one of Brisbane’s oldest pubs and rewarded a staff member with an ownership stake in the process.

In its first purchase since rebranding from Collective Heads, Kickon Group acquired the Osbourne Hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley which has been operating since 1864.   

As part of a pub partner program to reward high-value staff, the group has added Richard Harrison, a former venue manager of the Plough Inn in South Bank, to the ownership team. 

Kickon acquired a new 40-year lease from the vendor, and Nick Politis Group (NPG) purchased the pub’s freehold at the same time to become Kickon’s new landlord.

The Osborne is known for its live entertainment, late night dance floor and large-scale events, Shearer says. It also has more than 66 craft beer varieties and 33 draught taps, fitting well with Kickon’s strategy of buying and growing and high-volume F&B pubs. 

The venue has a tropical outdoor beer garden which is fitted with a backyard stadium screen, and an indoor mood-lit manor style lounge. 

 “It is an amazing venue with exciting growth opportunities, including opening additional days and widening the food offer by utilising our expertise in high quality pub dining through group executive chef Jake Furst,” Kickon founder and director Craig Shearer says. 

“We love that it’s an entertainment-based venue. Nothing makes us more excited than being in one of our venues when they’re alive and jumping.” 

Shearer said The Osbourne would continue its traditional events and activations all through the Summer and into 2022. 

Kickon has also gained three detached bottleshops as part of the deal, which represents the first move into the retail for the group.  

Shearer said that while the bottleshops were an incidental part of the transaction, the idea of having a little diversification after the last two years of lockdowns and restrictions was appealing.  

The group is also passionate about staff development, he said, and through the Kickon Group Pub Partner Program which began back in 2012, Harrison has been given the opportunity to be a first-time hotel owner at The Osbourne.  

“Nothing brings me more joy than being able to offer the opportunity of pub ownership to key members of our team through the Pub Partnership program,” Shearer said.

“Seeing staff progress from duty manager to venue manager to business partner is something we hold dear and are really proud of.

“Richo is well deserving of the opportunity, and we can’t wait to see how The Osbourne performs under his steady hand.  

Shearer said Kickon Group is seeking to further expand and attract new talent, and for those who may not have the resources or capacity to own their own venue, Kickon can “bridge that gap with a mutually beneficial partnership”.

O’Hara Group rewards talent

The O’Hara Group has embarked on a similar strategy with its newly opened Camellia Hotel opposite Sydney’s Rosehill Racecourse which sees long-time employee Andrew Do take his first pub ownership stake. 

Do is a former licensee at The Central Hotel Blacktown and The Fairfield Hotel in Fairfield and has worked for the O’Hara family for eight years. 

According to O’Hara Group, there are opportunities on offer for staff who work hard and prove themselves. 

“Andrew has always gone above and beyond for his team and his customers so we have no doubt he will be great in the role of managing the hotel and all that it has to offer,” Dan O’Hara said.

Andrew Do of O’Hara Group

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