Celeb chef Matt Moran buys Clovelly Hotel

Sydney’s The Clovelly Hotel is for sale.
Sydney’s The Clovelly Hotel is for sale.

Celebrity chef Matt Moran won’t have to wander far for a beer and a steak after he and pubs partner Bruce Solomon picked up the Clovelly Hotel to add to their fast-growing portfolio of blue chip assets. 

Solotel, the pair’s company, says the Clovelly will join its list of Sydney pubs in the affluent eastern suburbs.

The price tag was not revealed but the hotel, which sits on 1708sqm with ocean views, attracted a number of bids from onshore buyers around the mid-$30 million mark.

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Moran has kept a close eye on the popular pub, known in the area as The Cloey, in the past few years. He lives around the corner in Coogee.

“To be honest, I’m a local, so I have seen first hand what has happened in Bondi and what Justin (Hemmes) has done with the Coogee Pavilion,” Moran told The Australian.

“We are a development company. Bruce has been a publican for 30 years and I’ve been a restaurateur for 30 years. The Clovelly opportunity came up.

“It’s a great location and it’s an iconic pub. We’re really excited it’s a pub that has great bones.”

Matt Moran and business partner Bruce Solomon have bought another pub. Picture: Justin Lloyd

Matt Moran and business partner Bruce Solomon have bought another pub. Picture: Justin Lloyd

Solotel owns the Circular Quay Opera Bar, Aria restaurant, The Paddington Inn, The Sheaf at Double Bay and Woollahra’s Chiswick.

The Clovelly Hotel was offloaded by Iris Capital, which is headed by Sam Arnaout, who is currently participating in the Newcastle central business district redevelopment.

The new owners take charge of the pub in February and plan to keep it in its current state — especially the popular Pub TAB — for at least the first few months.

“We will run it as is to start with and keep it operating as is. It’s still a busy pub and by February we will be in the end of summer,” Moran says.

The Clovelly Hotel features multiple bars and dining areas.

The Clovelly Hotel features multiple bars and dining areas.

“We are in a really good market right now. Everyone is buying and selling, but I’m not a seller, that’s for sure,” he says. “We have not done a great deal to be honest. It’s easier to pick up one restaurant or one pub at a time.

“We aren’t going nuts — we’re not private equity.”

Moran says he and Solomon have ruled out the prospect of turning Solotel public or looking for private equity.

“I’ve never mentioned it to Bruce and Bruce hasn’t mentioned it to me,” he says.

“We have worked together for 18 years. We’re family business … we’re not interested in anything else — we are publicans and restaurateurs.”

In August, Moran ordered a refurbishment of his flagship Aria restaurant at Circular Quay overlooking the Sydney Opera House, which insiders speculate cost at least $5 million.

The Sydney pub and restaurant market has been overhauled this year after Keystone was forced to sell its portfolio.

The Melbourne-based Dixon Hospitality Group picked up a number of assets, headlined by Cargo Bar, Kingsley’s and Surry Hills’ The Winery.

The Clovelly pub deal was marketed by CBRE’s Daniel Dragicevich and Ray White Hotels Australia’s Andrew Joliffe.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.