Merivale boss Justin Hemmes buys The Whale Inn in Narooma
Billionaire hotelier Justin Hemmes has added a second venue on the NSW south coast as Merivale’s $120 million spending spree shows no signs of slowing down.
Merivale confirmed on Wednesday morning it had purchased The Whale Inn in Narooma on the NSW south coast.
It is the second venue in the small coastal town to be purchased by Merivale in recent months after a waterfront tiki bar, The Quarterdeck, was acquired for about $1 million.
“Narooma has become my second home and the backdrop to so many of my happiest memories with my family,” Mr Hemmes said.
The Whale Inn had been owned by the late Matthew Deveson and Jen Houghton-Deveson for the past 15 years. The establishment had 17 rooms, a laid-back restaurant and bar.
“Matt was a true gentleman; a man of great kindness and dignity who truly loved Narooma and the wonderful people who call it home,” Mr Hemmes said.
“It is an honour for us to continue Matt and Jen’s legacy.”
Merivale confirmed the restaurant would close for a quick refresh when the hospitality giant receives the keys to The Whale Inn this week. Accommodation will remain open until refurbishment plans are finalised.
The Whale Inn is the seventh venue to have been purchased by Merivale in the past three months as the group embarks on the one of the biggest pub shopping sprees seen in recent memory.
Recent acquisitions include Cheeky Monkey’s in Byron Bay for $13.5 million, Norton’s Irish Pub in Leichhardt for about $24 million and Merivale’s first two venues outside NSW – the Lorne Hotel in Victoria and Tomasetti House in Melbourne.