By Clyde Mooney
Two Sydney pubs in prime locations have sold this week, with one earmarked for an overhaul by its new restaurateur owner.
Like the Forresters in Surry Hills, Glebe's Forest Lodge Hotel joins an increasing list of pubs trading up to the gentrification trend of city venues.
Owner of the stylish Bondi Trattoria and trendy Barzura in Coogee, Matthew Sen, has picked up the venue with intentions to follow his successful model and transform it into a place-to-be dining and entertainment venue.
Forest Lodge Hotel, Glebe
Sam Handy from Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels negotiated the transaction, which exchanged on Wednesday.
Speaking to TheShout, Handy said that savvy operators are targeting underperforming venues in high profile locations and implementing restaurant and small bar concepts into existing pub formats.
"This is to capitalise on the longer trading hours, larger capacity and underlying property value," he said.
"The Carrington and Excelsior Hotels are recent examples whereby experienced food-focused operators have been able to significantly increase trade at venues occupying the right location by repositioning the existing proposition. The Forest Lodge Hotel in Glebe is one such location and opportunity and the residents of Glebe should be very excited.
"[Its] proximity to the University of Sydney, the RPA Hospital and a rapidly gentrifying residential catchment, augurs well for a potential relaunch and repositioning of the business," Handy said.
Welcome Hotel sold for $6.5 million
CBRE's Joel Fisher acknowledged the merit of this pub model that has steered away from gaming as a staple of the venue's income.
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"The Welcome sold yesterday for $6.5 million with a yield of 11.5 per cent, which based on current trade represented a strong result, given the venue's business mix with a high reliance on food revenue."
CBRE will today be auctioning the other venue formerly owned by Damian Silk, Glebe's Australian Youth which is expected to sell for over $5 million.