Signature Hospitality Group has entered the Sydney CBD market, purchasing the All Hands Brewing House in Darling Harbour for $20 million.

All Hands Brewing House was established on King St Wharf by Red Rock Leisure in late 2017. The sale to Signature Hospitality Group was overseen by John Musca, national director of JLL Hotels & Hospitality.

Signature Hospitality Group’s brands include The Sporting Globe and restaurant chain TGI Fridays, as well as the Foresters Restaurant and Bar in Brisbane and the WJ Wills eatery in South Melbourne.

James Sinclair, CEO of the group, said there were many synergies between All Hands Brewing House and the group’s other brands that made it a natural fit to the portfolio.

“We are really excited to have acquired the All Hands Brewing House. The location is positioned centrally on Kings Street Wharf, overlooking Darling Harbour, and provides a remarkable view for all its guests making it the perfect location for workers, Sydneysiders and tourists alike to enjoy an Aussie brew.

“The site has a heritage in craft brewing, an experience we have seen boom in the United States and is becoming increasingly popular in Australia. We felt that as an operator of American-inspired venues, the acquisition of AHBH was a natural, strategic fit for us.”

Sinclair and his team have spent the last twelve months identifying the right space to enter into the Sydney CBD market – the group has two TGI Fridays restaurants in New South Wales – and found that the focus on craft beer, live sport and good food at All Hands Brewing House aligned perfectly with its other venues.

Brewing opportunities

Of particular interest, was the site’s 10-hectalitre microbrewery facilities, which underwent a major rebuild by Red Rock Leisure in 2017.

“The brewing facility and beers produced are exceptional and are the foundation of the success of the location. Last year, amongst over 1200 beer entries, the brewery won both the State Champion Independent Brewer (NSW) and the Inaugural Champion Australian Independent Brew Pub. We aim to support and grow the brewery operation and will expand it by potentially trialing the beer in some of our other locations,” Sinclair told Australian Hotelier.

“Craft breweries are rapidly becoming an essential part of, if not expanding, the Australian hospitality experience with the intensified merger and acquisition activity testimony to the increased capital drawn to the space,” added Musca.

“The breweries are driving a new level of beverage engagement, building brand stories and customer relationships that create a dedicated following.”

Signature Hospitality Group intends to further invest in the venue by enhancing the alfresco and dining areas adjacent to the brewery.

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...

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