Hospitality giant Merivale has consolidated its presence in the company's stronghold of Sydney with the purchase of an Inner West pub, and has taken to the Great Ocean Road by acquiring an historic pub in Lorne.
Norton's Irish Pub in the Sydney suburb of Leichhardt joins Merivale's growing portfolio in the area, which also includes Vic on the Park in Marrickville, Queens Hotel in Enmore, and 3 Weeds in Rozelle.
The company, helmed by CEO Justin Hemmes, will receive the keys to Norton's next month. The venue will trade as normal, with future plans to be announced in due course.
"It is such a privilege to be part of Sydney's vibrant Inner West; every suburb has a unique energy, and their local pubs play a special role in shaping their culture," says Hemmes.
Later this year, Merivale will reopen the doors to the 3 Weeds pub in Rozelle after an extensive refurbishment.
The venue will host Italian eatery Totti's as part of its relaunch, which will be announced in the coming months.
"We're excited to not only expand our Inner West pub portfolio, but reopen doors to the 3 Weeds, a beautiful and much-loved local institution, this Spring," says Hemmes.
The Lorne Hotel changes hands
Merivale has also acquired The Lorne Hotel, an historic pub that has stood proudly on Victoria's Great Ocean Road for more than a century.
The hospitality group will receive keys to the venue later this year and will trade as normal over the summer.
"The Lorne Hotel is an iconic venue in a truly spectacular location," Hemmes said.
"It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know John and Paul Upham, who have been the proud custodians of the venue for the last eleven years; we feel honoured to continue their legacy and help usher the pub into the next phase of its incredible 145-year history".
The acquisitions of come during a period of expansion for the Hemmes-led company.
Merivale announced in April it was expanding into Melbourne with the purchase of Tomasetti House, 277 Flinders Lane in the heart of the Victorian capital.
That acquisition marked Merivale's first expansion outside of NSW and the second outside of Sydney, following the purchase of The Quarterdeck, a popular waterfront restaurant in Narooma on the NSW south coast.
It also comes after The Urban Developer reported Hemmes was looking to open his first venue in Byron Bay following the acquisition of a major site worth a reported $50 million.
The pub baron is understood to be planning a new venue on the site in the centre of Byron in a similar style to the hospitality company's Cooge Pavilion in Sydney's eastern suburbs, according to The Urban Developer.
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