After a few years’ hiatus, Michael Dixon is returning to pub ownership with the acquisition of the Central Tavern, Burpengary, in Queensland.

Dixon’s new pub vehicle, Athena Hospitality, is currently finalising its first acquisition, the Central Tavern in Burpengary, in the Moreton Bay region of Brisbane. The deal signifies the return to pubs for Michael Dixon, who – along with father Bruce Dixon – sold a majority stake in Dixon Hospitality to KKR in 2017 for $190 million, and promptly left the business. Dixon Hospitality, which at the time had roughly 50 venues, formed the foundation for Australian Venue Company.

After three years out of the pub industry – Dixon purchased the Party Boats venture off Dixon Hospitality before it was sold to KKR – he has established a new pub vehicle, Athena Hospitality, with the first acquisition to be the Central Tavern from hotelier Michael Lucas.

It is a high-performing gaming pub situated adjacent to the local Woolworths-anchored shopping centre, with 36 EGM authorities and on-site parking for 70 vehicles. Its sports bar, bistro and gaming room had recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation.

The sale has been exclusively managed by HTL Property’s Glenn Price and Brent McCarthy, who underscored the high performance of Central Tavern as a great debut acquisition for Athena Hospitality.

“The tavern is situated in a very busy shopping precinct and as an historically consistent performer, ranked in the state’s top 70 gaming venues, provides the successful investors with a robust set of very reliable revenue streams,” stated Price.

“Assets such as this with clearly identifiable sources of revenue, two detached bottle shops and proximate visitation levers are attractive to a range of investors; including those from interstate who were ultimately successful in acquiring the asset,” added McCarthy.

The Moreton Bay region, in which Burpengary is situated, is one of the south-east Queensland’s strongest growth corridors in terms of population.

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