Merivale has responded to claims it will be knocking down its central Sydney bar Ivy and replacing it with a 55-storey hotel by admitting it is looking at options for the long-term future of the bar.
News Limited reported on Sunday that Merivale owner Justin Hemmes has already started design planning for the hotel to replace the existing eight-storey building. However in a statement Merivale has said that while it is looking at options for the long-term future of the site, no final plans have been decided.
“We can confirm that Merivale is currently exploring ideas for the long-term future of the Ivy precinct, with a number of options being considered including a new hotel, hospitality and lifestyle complex,” the group said in its statement.
Adding: “However, if the project proceeds, it is still many years away and discussions to date have only been preliminary. No final plans have been decided nor time-lines set, and there are certainly no immediate plans to commence redevelopment of the site.
“When Ivy launched in 2007, it was arguably Australia’s most ambitious hospitality transformations. Eleven years on, Ivy continues to be enormously successful and sets the benchmark for Sydney hospitality with its diverse portfolio of bars, hatted restaurants, event spaces and entertainment experiences, including international attraction ‘Thursday nights at Ivy’, Sunday party institution ‘Marco Polo’ and dance juggernaut ‘Ministry of Sound Club Australia’.
“Ivy continues to operate ‘business as usual’ and we look forward to welcoming guests for years to come.”
Speaking at last year’s Pub Leaders Summit, Merivale’s then acting COO, Antony Jones, said that accommodation is something that the group has looked at and will continue to consider.
“Accommodation for us is a very very small part of the business but from a balance point of view, in Establishment for example, it’s a really, really important component,” Jones said.
“My personal view is that I think it’s an avenue that we should explore because it represents such a small portion of our business that it would make sense to look at over-indexing more in that area to balance out all of our revenue streams. So I’d have to say it’s something that we’ve explored recently and will continue to do so.”