Justin Hemmes’ Merivale snaps up Norton’s Irish Pub in Leichhardt

Justin Hemmes at Home

Justin Hemmes has purchased Norton’s Irish Pub. Picture: Darren Leigh Roberts

Pub baron Justin Hemmes has snapped up Norton’s Irish Pub in Leichhardt — his fourth hospitality venue purchase in recent weeks.

The billionaire owner of Sydney hospitality giant, Merivale, will receive the keys to Norton’s next month after forking put more than $22m.

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It will be Merivale’s fourth venue in the inner west alongside Vic on the Park in Marrickville, Queens Hotel in Enmore and 3 Weeds in Rozelle. Merivale has confirmed Norton’s Irish Pub will continue to trade as normal for the time being, with future plans for the venue to be announced in due course.

Norton’s Irish Pub is

Mr Hemmes, Merivale’s CEO, said it was a privilege to add an Irish-themed venue at the corner of Norton Street and Parramatta Road to its collection of inner west venues.

“Every suburb has a unique energy, and their local pubs play a special role in shaping their culture,” he said.

“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”.

Merivale has rapidly expanded its property portfolio in recent weeks as the hospitality sector continues to recover from COVID-19 restrictions.

Sydney’s largest pub operator recently purchased its first venue in Melbourne — Tomasetti House for $40m. It also acquired the basement in the Burns Philp & Co building on Bridge Street where Fratelli Fresh previously traded.

And last week, Merivale made a $50m play in Byron Bay with the acquisition of a major development site on Jonson Street.

Norton’s Irish Pub was sold by hotelier Peter Walker after he originally paid $14.5m in 2016 for it. The pub had 28 pokies and trades most days from 10am to 4am.