The Lansdowne Hotel sits at the southern entrance to Sydney's CBD, as well as Chinatown.

The famed Lansdowne Hotel, on the fringes of Sydney’s CBD, has a new owner. The sale took place at the end of 2023, but has only just been announced.

Situated at the entrance to Sydney’s southern CBD and Chinatown, the Lansdowne Hotel has a long and storied history as one of Sydney’s premier live music venues, including with recent stewardship by Marys Group.

The Group did not renew their lease in 2022, and the owner of the building placed it on the market in mid-2023. The new owner’s identity has not been revealed, however new lessee Julian Romero told Australian Hotelier in April that he has worked on a few projects with the new owners on projects in Melbourne.

The highly competitive sales process was handled by HTL Property’s Sam Handy, Andrew Jolliffe and Blake Edwards, in conjunction with Stefan Ippolito of IB Property.

The Lansdowne is surrounded by some of the city’s largest mixed-use urban renewal redevelopments – including Frasers $2 billion Central Park precinct – as well as numerous demand drivers illustrated by the adjacent Broadway Shopping Centre, RPA Hospital and UTS.

The four-level hotel features an expansive trading footprint, with outdoor areas that include a recently approved rooftop beer garden. The hotel also features a 5am liquor licence, and a rare first-floor extended trading approval. The venue also enjoys an approved capacity of 480 patrons at any one time.

“Whilst institutionally popular as a live entertainment venue, the unmistakable scale of the Lansdowne Hotel lends itself favourably to the further and regular activation of multiple other levels, most notably the expansive rooftop beer garden,” advised Handy.

New concept, but still a live music pub

The leasehold was taken on in April by Romero, who has brought his The Happy Mexican concept over from Melbourne. With Mexican chef Jesus Rios at the helm, The Lansdowne is now serving up a menu centred around birria tacos, burritos and share plates; while the drinks menu is focused on Margaritas, Palomas, and Mezcalitos, alongside draught beer.

While transferring The Happy Mexican restaurant concept over to Sydney, Romero stated that The Lansdowne would still operate as a live music pub.

“I really like the whole culture around music and gigs, and everything that is happening in regard to local and upcoming artists, everything that the Lansdowne has been established for, for many years,” stated Romero.

“At the Lansdowne, for many reasons, people didn’t even know the place was still open. I think it is a really good fit for our culture at The Happy Mexican, we will integrate it all together, and this time make sure that everyone knows we’re open, and that we will still have music events taking place in Sydney’s iconic venue.”

Inner city hotels in demand

The Light Brigade Hotel in Paddington is another recent city fringe pub sale, with the Bayfield Hotel Group selling the pub to Laundy Hotels. Nearby, JDA Hotels acquired The Unicorn Hotel in April.

 “We’re discreetly working with several underbidders from both this [The Lansdowne] and the Light Brigade Hotel campaign, and that are seeking out inner city hotels that present strong existing businesses and upside via repositioning, renovation and refurbishment,” Handy stated.

Jolliffe added: “We’re buoyed by the traction enjoyed by the recent Light Brigade Hotel sale and market depth for inner-city hotels such as The Lansdowne and others we are working with on an off-market basis.

“Impending stage three tax concessions, an interest rate cycle which has increased at a decreasing rate for six months and representing a macro change in fiscal cadence, coupled with the sale of numerous hotels nationally and which are yet to be publicly disclosed; all strongly suggests to us a strengthening of key actor sentiment in the broader hotel industry.”

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...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *