North-western Sydney group Momento Hospitality has strayed beyond its traditional turf to add the Friend in Hand Hotel in the inner city suburb of Glebe to its portfolio.

Momento Hospitality owns and operates a stable of large-format hotels including Bella Vista Hotel, Hillside Hotel, The Governor Hotel, Mullane’s Hotel and the Duke of Dural, with most located in Sydney’s North-West growth corridor.

The pub group specialises in greenfield developments, and has three in the pipeline that are on track to open next year, according to Momento CEO Marcello Colosimo.

The Friend in Hand acquisition, however, offered the group the opportunity to try out a few of its food concepts and to potentially grow those brands, he said.

“It’s a good local bar with mixed trade, and it’s got good development potential going forward,” Colosimo said.

“From a Momento point of view, we’re happy to look at a few of these opportunities as they come up. The city is coming back and there are opportunities there,” he said.

The Friend in Hand was acquired by the Young family in June 2019 prior to their acquisition of the Illinois Hotel in Five Dock and the Royal Hotel in Ryde.

The family, which had previously owned and operated the hotel during the 1980s and ’90s, conducted an extensive renovation and refurbishment and added four more gaming machines to the floor.

“Our family has enjoyed a long association with the Friend in Hand Hotel, and whilst our second stint operating the hotel has been a little shorter than the first, we firmly believe in both the strength of the business and the catchment area,” hotelier Billy Young said.

“Following consultation with my family, we’ve concluded that the recent expansion of our portfolio means we probably can’t give it the necessary time and focus it deserves.”

The Friend in Hand has a profitable revenue mix across bar, bistro, gaming and wagering, with 19 gaming machines attached to the hotelier’s licence, according to HTL Property which managed the sale.

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