By James Atkinson

With its major sponsorship of the Sydney Festival Bar approaching along with some exciting new venue openings, 2012 is set to be a massive year for the restructured Keystone business, says managing director John Duncan (pictured, right hand side).

Speaking to TheShout, Duncan sought to provide clarity around the recent split of Fraser Short from The Keystone Group.

He confirmed that Keystone recently bought the Short family out of their interests in the company, which now has three directors; himself and partner Paul Schulte (pictured, left hand side) along with Anthony Prior.

The Duncan family now owns 100 per cent of Cargo bar and Cargo lounge, Bungalow 8, the loft, Kit&Kaboodle, and Sugarmill; while the Duncans and the Schultes each have a 50 per cent share in The Winery, Gazebo, Manly Wine, The Wine Suites, and their newest venue, the Newtown Hotel, which will open in the city's inner west next year.

Duncan told TheShout the redevelopment and design of the Newtown Hotel will create a two-level, 600 capacity venue featuring "very unique design and menu offerings in a very Newtown kind of way".

"We genuinely tailor venues to the locals, and the area, and we are super excited about being in an area that is so passionate about themselves and their neighbourhood's vibrant culture," he said.

He said Keystone will also start work early next year on a new rooftop bar above its Sugarmill venue in Kings Cross.

"We also have our eyes open for other opportunities, it's all about the right place in the right area," he added.

"We create venues when we think there is an opportunity, that an area is missing an experience."

Duncan said Keystone's naming rights sponsorship of the Sydney Festival Bar in January was a logical progression for the company, which is now seeking to build its profile.

"We have never spoken about The Keystone Group as such, but we will be now, as it is a lifestyle brand that is growing in many different exciting directions," he said.

"Keystone is a company that has other areas than bars, restaurants and nightclubs which will all come to light in 2012, starting with the Sydney Festival alliance in January."

"It's a celebration of Sydney in a unique way that suits our venues," he said.

The Shout Team

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

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1 Comment

  1. Sounds awesome!

    I hope they install a chargebar in Sugarmill because I keep having to go the Empire to charge my phone on Saturdays!

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