Sydney’s ‘most recognisable pub’ for sale

Lunch With Leo - John Bell

Surry Hills’ famous Shakespeare Hotel is for sale. Picture: John Appleyard

The famous ‘Shakey’ is up for sale.

Surry Hills icon the Shakespeare Hotel is set to change hands for the first time in 45 years, with well-known hospitality family the Hargeaves deciding to move on.

The pub’s trading was hit hard by the disastrous blow out of the light rail build on Devonshire St, but it has bounced back strongly.

Archival Sydney Photos

Shakespeare Hotel, 200 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills Picture: City of Sydney Archives

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In a market where pubs have proven to be very sought-after assets, the Shakespeare is likely to follow suit.

No guide has been offered but a price of around $12m has been bandied about.

“For more than 40 years our family has been an integral part of the fabric of Devonshire Street in Surry Hills, as owners and operators of two family pubs — The Shakespeare and The Strawberry Hills hotels,” publican Margaret Hargreaves wrote in a first-person piece for The Sunday Telegraph in 2018, as businesses in Surry Hills struggled with the light rail build.

“We are proud of our venues, and the role they play in this close-knit community.”

Lunch With Leo - John Bell

Leo Schofield lunches with Actor/Director John Bell from the Bell Shakespeare company, at the Shakespeare hotel in Surry Hills. Picture: John Appleyard

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Last month the NSW Supreme Court, ruled that the state government had to pay damages to businesses affected by the delayed construction of the Sydney light rail, with more claims expected to follow.

The ‘Shakey’s owners were themselves forced to pay for some of the damage cause to business by the light rail construction but with project now well and truly finished the pub and the area has come to life once again.

Music band, You Am I at The Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hills. You Am I are about to go on a national tour playing their first three albums back to back. Dave Lane, Andy Kent, Rusty Hopkinson and Tim Rogers (foreground).

Music band, You Am I at The Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hills.

“The Shakespeare Hotel represents possibly the last opportunity to acquire a long-term family held pub in Surry Hills with accommodation, gaming, food and beverage income capabilities,” said Senior Vice President Kate MacDonald of JLL Hotels, who have brought the pub to market.

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“Established in 1879, the Shakey is arguably the most recognisable pub in Sydney, presenting old world charm at every turn. With considerable opportunity available in every department within the hotel, the undeniable strength of attributes will entice any astute operator,” the listing reads.

Publican Margaret Hargreaves at bar of Shakespeare Hotel, Surry Hills, hotel to be sold. General New South Wales (NSW) / Hotels

Publican Margaret Hargreaves at the bar of Shakespeare Hotel, Surry Hills.

An EOI campaign for the property ends on August 22.

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