Billionaire hospitality businessman Justin Hemmes refuses to be hemmed in by state borders, with the announcement today he will be expanding his Merivale empire to Melbourne.
The company has purchased Tomasetti House, 277 Flinders Lane in the heart of the Victorian capital, and will mark Merivale's first expansion outside NSW and the second outside Sydney.
Last month Merivale acquired The Quarterdeck, a popular waterfront restaurant in Narooma on the NSW south coast.
Further details of plans for the property are due to be announced in due course.
"Melbourne is a very special city, with a unique energy and an inimitable soul. Its local hospitality industry is one of the best in the world; brimming with creative culinary talent and supported by a passionate community of diners," Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes said.
"We are honoured to open our first venue in Melbourne, and cannot wait to work alongside so many local industry greats.
"Melbourne's CBD has suffered terribly from the hardships of the past year. We are committed to doing everything we can to help reinvigorate the city and support it in its road to recovery."
The five-floor Tomasetti House was originally built in 1853 for William Degraves' flour-milling and merchant businesses.
"I have spent years travelling and being inspired by places from all corners of the globe, but the last twelve months has certainly reinforced that there is simply no place like home," Hemmes said.
"I am energised by Australia's collective appreciation for our own backyard and am extremely passionate about continuing to invest in an industry that defines so much of our vibrant culture."
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