Australian Venue Co (AVC) says it is expecting a strong economic recovery and record consumer demand this summer after acquiring three new venues in Melbourne.

The acquisitions of the Village Belle Hotel in St Kilda, Ball Court Hotel in Sunbury and The Victoria Hotel in Yarraville take AVC’s Victorian portfolio to 38 venues. Settlement of Village Belle Hotel will take place at the end of November and re-openings of the other two, currently closed, venues under AVC management will be in November and December respectively.

Australian Venue Co CEO Paul Waterson said the acquisitions reflect the group’s confidence in the industry.

“It’s been a challenging 18 months for the industry, but we’re a resilient business and we’re focused on the future. It’s full steam ahead now,” he said.

“Melburnians have missed the pub and they’re coming out in droves. Many of our pubs have been part of the community for more than a hundred years, and they’re not going anywhere. We’re committed to investing in the industry and keeping these pubs open for decades to come.”

“These new acquisitions are beautiful community pubs, and we’re excited to be part of their next chapter as we all look forward to the future. We’re excited to open their doors for a fun summer of catching up with family and friends, and getting back to the pub.”

The Village Belle Hotel was extensively renovated in 2017 and AVC says it has no plans to make major changes to the venue. The sale will settle at the end of November and operations will begin in December.

AVC said it will refresh and revitalise the Ball Court Hotel, and re-open on Thursday 11 November, offering a bistro, wine bar, beer garden, sports bar, function room and drive through bottle shop.

A refresh of the historic Victoria Hotel has already begun, and having been closed by the previous tenants since the start of Lockdown 6, the venue is slated to re-open on 5 December.

Earlier this year, the group re-opened the historic Sarah Sands Hotel in Brunswick after an extensive renovation, and acquired Bimbo in Fitzroy, which will re-open under the name Kewpie on 8 November.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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