Former Footscray footballer Paul Dimattina’s iconic South Melbourne pub for sale

Lamaro's Hotel

Longstanding tenant and former Footscray footballer Paul Dimattina’s Lamaro’s Hotel is up for sale. Picture: Alex Coppel.

Want to be Paul Dimattina’s landlord? The iconic South Melbourne pub Lamaro’s Hotel, where the former Footscray footballer slings suds, is looking for someone new to be part of its legacy.

But, you might have to tackle the ex-footy star at the auction, because he’s thinking about bidding for it himself.

Longstanding tenant, publican and 131-game AFL player Dimattina shares the leasehold with executive chef Geoff Lindsay.

But the hotel’s namesake Pam Lamaro, who has owned the building for more than 20 years, is selling the freehold which could make as much as $14m.

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The historic watering hole is positioned on a prime residential corner spot in South Melbourne.

It brings in a steady income through 4 per cent annual increases.

The sale also includes three stylish upstairs apartments.

Ms Lamaro is also known for her work as a non-executive director with the Collingwood Football Club Foundation and on the fundraising committee for St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Werribee.

Her 273-279 Cecil St property includes both the popular hotel and three upstairs apartments, including one that Ms Lamaro has resided in.

Kay & Burton South Yarra chairman Gerald Delany said that Ms Lamaro was selling the building as she now spent a lot of her time in Byron Bay and with her family in Phillip Island, where she also has a home.

“It’s a trophy building,” Mr Delany added. “It’s in a very unique residential locality and it’s a very good investment with the three apartments.”

The current lease is in place for another eight years as part of an initial 10-year term, with the option to extend thereafter for a further 10 years.

A steady income growth is also viable through 4 per cent annual increases on the pub’s lease, but the next owner could also choose to lease the apartments or run them as short-stay accommodation.

The pub first opened its doors in the 1850s, but has been known as Lamaro’s for more than 20 years.

The apartments could provide further income if rented out as residential or short-stay accommodation.

Lamaro's Hotel

Publican and former Footscray footballer Paul Dimattina shares the leasehold. Picture Jay Town

JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group vice president Will Connolly said with the apartment spaces, there was potential for buyers to convert the venue back to a hotel “down the track”.

The listing is without a price tag as this will be determined by market interest, but Mr Delany indicated the historic watering hole could sell for “anywhere up to $14 million”.

Lamaro’s first opened its doors in the 1850s and has proved popular over the years as an after-work drinks, special occasions or corporate lunch location, positioned on a prime 509sq m corner spot in a residential pocket of South Melbourne.
“I want to clarify that Lamaro’s is not for sale, we have an 18-year lease. It’s the freehold, which we’re hoping to bid on too,” Mr Dimattina told The Herald Sun.

“Rest assured we are not going anywhere, Geoff (Lindsay) and I are there for the long haul.”

Before tackling the life of a publican, Mr Dimattina played 131 games for the Footscray Football Club between 1995 and 2003.

His family’s hospitality group has also run numerous other venues across Melbourne, including Southgate’s Blue Train cafe.
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