By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
Bruce Solomon and Matt Moran strengthened their business relationship, merging their Solotel and MorSol businesses under the Solotel brand, forging one of Australia’s most dynamic hospitality groups.
Solomon and Moran have have been business partners for the last 16 years. Under the current Solotel umbrella, Solotel has a portfolio of 20 various hospitality venues in Sydney and Brisbane, including the renowned Opera Bar and The Sheaf hotel; while MorSol operates some of the best restaurants in the country, including the two-hatted ARIA Sydney, ARIA Brisbane, CHISWICK Woollahra and CHISWICK at the Gallery.
The two businesses will merge under the Solotel title at the beginning of the new financial year, with Matt Moran continuing to manage the ARIA and CHISWICK restaurants – the flagship restaurants of the business.
The partnership between the two champions of Australian hospitality began in 2000 when Solomon turned the Paddington Inn into a gastropub, with a real focus on the food offering. Sixteen years later and the partnership is stronger than ever.
Both Solomon and Moran believe that by merging the businesses, they are creating one of the most dynamic hospitality groups in the country.
“We see so many advantages of sharing our industry leading skills and knowledge within our teams across our restaurants, event, hotels and bars,” says Solomon.
One of those opportunities is the relaunch of the Paddington Inn in August this year, when the hotel will reopen as a new restaurant and front bar. This is just the first of many exciting developments for the thirtieth year of operations for Solotel, with The Edinburgh Castle Hotel, in Sydney’s CBD, getting its own renovation later this year.
Solotel have also won the highly-contested bid for The Australian Hotel in the new Central Park residential and entertainment precinct on the CBD’s fringe. Both The Australian Hotel and Solotel’s three-level prestige venue in Barangaroo will open in 2018. The Barangaroo venue will feature a bar on the ground floor, a restaurant on the first floor and a rooftop bar.
Solotel’s Chief Operating Officer, Justine Baker, believes the future is bright for the hospitality group.
“The key to our business success is that Matt and Bruce truly love what they do, and because we have the best team of people around us every day sharing the fun, with knowledge and dedication. We’re committed to our customer-focussed culture, and see a truly exciting future for the new group – a future we will approach with passion and creativity.”
Moran is particularly looking forward to the opportunities the merge will open up to staff.
“It’s going to give lots of opportunities to lots of people. If a young chef starts in a pub one day he might have [the] ambition to be in a fine dining restaurant and vice versa – I might have a sous chef in ARIA who might want to run his own pub.”
After the merge, Solotel will have approximately 1500 staff working for the hospitality group.