By Clyde Mooney – editor Australian Hotelier

Sydney's pioneering Irish pub The Mercantile in The Rocks will be auctioned tomorrow after 30 years under the same management.

The hotel believed to be the oldest running Irish-themed venue in the country will be first on the agenda at 10:30am in the Sydney Morning Herald Auction Centre.

The leasehold vacant possession is being offered by former NSW police minister Paul Whelan, Laurence Coy and licensee Terry O'Neil, who has managed the hotel for the past three decades with wife Yvonne. [continued below]

Selling agent Mike Wheatley, director of hotels for Knight Frank Australia, told TheShout there are "some pretty interested parties" off the back of the sale of the Fortune of War last week.

"You just don't get these kinds of opportunities down there – both hotels had been very tightly held," said Wheatley.

"This is the first time it has been on offer in 28 years. I just think that tells you how strong they are."

Similarly to the recent sale of the nearby Fortune of War, Wheatley said The Mercantile's long-standing owners are calling 'last drinks'.

"They're not getting any younger. The partners have been there a long time, but the O'Neills began before they came in."

Experts suggest that 2013 has proven a bumper year for pub transactions since banking institutions have cautiously lowered the hurdles to capital.

For more information on pubs on the market, see TheShout's Pub Sales page.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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