By Triana O'Keefe, editor – Australian Hotelier

Acquisitive hotelier, Justin Hemmes has added the Queen Victoria Hotel, Enmore to his Merivale portfolio.

The sale, negotiated by JLL's John Musca and Sam Handy, represents Hemmes' first venture in Sydney's inner west.

“The Queen Victoria Hotel is another fantastic addition to the Merivale group in what is undoubtedly our most exciting year yet. I am passionate about creating world-class venues designed specifically around the local community and look forward to becoming part of Sydney’s thriving Inner West," said Hemmes.

The Queen Victoria Hotel occupies a strategic positon on Enmore Road immediately adjacent to the famed Enmore Theatre. The pub features a 3am liquor licence, 20 PME’s (SIA 30) and boasts a large trading footprint across two levels with extensive outdoor areas. It has been operated under the same private ownership for over 25 years.

It is widely considered that Merivale are going to reposition the hotel with a Hong Kong street-food inspired restaurant led by renowned Papi Chulo chefs, Christopher Hogarth and Patrick Friesen. There are also plans to work more closely with the nearby Enmore theatre.

John Musca, JLL’s national director of investment sales said: “this is the fourth hotel that JLL has sold to Merivale in the last 18 months and we anticipate that they will replicate the success achieved at these venues with the Queen Victoria Hotel”.

He added, “the area has been lacking a unique, sophisticated and relevant proposition for some time, and Merivale has great ability to engage with the local community and provide a product that’s in line with what these locals want”.

Sam Handy, JLL’s vice-president of investment sales noted Merivale’s existing stable of some 36 venues are predominantly located in the Eastern Suburbs and the inner city.

"They’ve been keen on a venue in the inner west for some time and the Queen Victoria Hotel will provide them with the perfect platform and core trading attributes to create something very special."

Merivale will officially take possession of the Queen Victoria Hotel in late April with the re-launch scheduled for early June

The Queen Victoria Hotel purchase tops off a busy 14 months of acquisitions for Merivale. In February 2014, Merivale announced the purchase of the Paddington Arms on Oxford Street, set to re-open in August. This was followed by 50 King Street in Sydney’s CBD, re-opened as art-based pop-up Work in Progress in May, and the Beach Palace Hotel, transformed by Merivale into the award-winning beachside venue, Coogee Pavilion. And last month, Merivale announced that the iconic Newport Arms Hotel will join its portfolio in May 2015.

The Shout Team

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

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