Carlton’s historic Irish pub the Dan O’Connell Hotel up for sale

The 136-year-old building housing the Dan O’Connell Hotel ar 223-227 Canning St, Carlton, is on the market.
The 136-year-old building housing the Dan O’Connell Hotel ar 223-227 Canning St, Carlton, is on the market.

Last drinks may have been poured at the Carlton site of historic Irish pub, the Dan O’Connell Hotel.

The striking 1884 Gothic building on the corner of Canning and Princes streets is for sale with vacant possession, with childcare, medical and student-accommodation operators expected to be among its suitors.

Publicans and hospitality operators are also likely to pursue the St Patrick’s Day hot spot, which is tipped to fetch more than $2.5 million.

“They say it’s one of the oldest hotels in Melbourne,” Fitzroys director David Bourke says.

“So it’s a pretty unique offering, there’s a lot of history around the site.

“A lot of people of Irish heritage will be watching keenly.”

The Dan’s St Patrick’s Day party has become legendary.

The pub, affectionately known as ‘The Dan’, has in recent years become known for its St Patrick’s Day parties, which spill into the street and adjoining Neill St Reserve.

Its beer garden, pool table, open fireplaces, live sport broadcasts, regular live music and weekly trivia night have also made it a beloved local watering hole.

The pub is licensed to operate seven days a week, and occupies a prized 520sq m corner block that thousands of cars, cyclists and pedestrians pass by everyday.

In mid-March, operators of the pub announced on Facebook it would be “shut until further notice … due to the ongoing issues facing us all”.

While the coronavirus crisis has been crippling for Melbourne’s hospitality industry, Bourke says the listing had been in the works before the most stringent lockdown measures hit.

He expects pub and hospitality operators to show “huge interest” in the landmark pub, given its “captive audience and (prime) position in the cultural hub of the inner north”.

The fact it was being offered vacant would give the next owners the opportunity to “refurbish and reposition the freehold”, perhaps as a gastropub.

This, along with the building’s residential zoning, also opened it up to other uses such as childcare, medical, and student or boutique accommodation.

Co-listing agent Chris James says these options would be attractive to buyers given the property’s closeness to the University of Melbourne and CBD, along with “the gentrification of the inner north (luring) an influx of young families”.

Its expressions of interest campaign officially kicks off next week and closes on July 1.

The nearby Gasometer Hotel in Collingwood has been seeking a leaseholder at a “heavy discount” of about $350,000 since April, with the CRE Brokers listing acknowledging the vendors were being “realistic” given COVID-19 had placed the venue “in hibernation”.

Prahran’s Revolver nightclub building also hit the market in May, seeking offers of more than $20 million.

Vendor Kurt Falkenstein stressed the building’s tenants, Revolver Upstairs and Revolver Lane, had confirmed “secure long-term tenures” before the property was listed.

This article from The Herald Sun originally appeared as “Dan O’Connell Hotel: Carlton site of historic Irish pub for sale”.