Foresters Beer and Music Hall sells to New Guernica bar operator
Melbourne’s Foresters Beer and Music Hall has sold to a nightclub owner for an undisclosed sum believed to be more than $500,000 in an off-market deal.
CBRE announced on Wednesday the craft beer venue at 64 Smith St, Collingwood, — once the home of the popular late night haunt A Bar Called Barry — had changed hands.
The agency’s hotels and pubs director Mathew George said he expected the new owner, club operator Famous Four Pty Ltd, would keep the pub operating but he was unsure if a change of name was in store.
Famous Four runs nightclub New Guernica on Little Collins St.
The vendor, Craft Beer Market Pty Ltd, had owned the watering hole for the better part of a decade, and had previously sold their other venue, The Terminus in Fitzroy North, in recent years.
Foresters posted on its Facebook page at the end of June: “It’s true. Foresters has permanently closed. Huge thanks to everyone who ever walked through our doors, especially our regulars. We’ll miss you.”
Mr George said he did not believe their most recent decision to sell was related to the Covid-19 pandemic or Melbourne’s lockdowns.
“This was the last one they had really, one of the owners is overseas, he’s got a brother and a sister in Victoria still, but they were pretty happy to get out of the hospitality industry for the immediate moment,” Mr George said.
“They (the buyer) are a late night operator, so obviously they’ll be looking at taking advantage of the licence there, which is a 4am licence.”
The sale comes hot on the heels of other pub and club transactions across the city in recent months.
These include the sale of the Robert Burns Hotel, which was acquired by former VFL player Julien Moussi’s Only Hospitality Group, according to an announcement last month.
The Albion Hotel, Collingwood’s The Gem, The Leinster Arms and The Gasometer Hotel have also recently changed hands.
In June the Herald Sun revealed Bombay Rock, Brunswick, operators Kacey Knoodle and Asher Trainor snapped up the Gaso’s 19-year-leasehold with IT professional James Martelletti for $350,000.
In May, Sydney-based hospitality heavyweight Merivale acquired the 145-year-old Lorne Hotel.
Mr George said he sold The Leinster Arms to a woman who was previously a food truck operator, and he predicted Melbourne’s pub scene was in for an exciting revival with new owners at the helm of many of the city’s favourite haunts.
“We’re actually seeing more demand for inner suburban food and beverage businesses,” Mr George said.
“The pub industry has been around forever, it’s a pretty resilient industry. People are always going to be looking for a place to meet and drink, whether that be to celebrate or whatever else.”
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