Carlton’s historic Dan O’Connell Hotel for sale with vacant possession


It is the end of an era in Carlton with the freehold of Irish pub Dan O’Connell Hotel being listed for sale with vacant possession – suitors including childcare centre, student housing or boutique accommodation operators.

The Gothic venue built in 1884 at 223-227 Canning Street, at the south west corner of Princes Street, also the Carlton North suburb border, is expected to trade for more than $2.5 million.

Over two floors, the bar and restaurant with a beer garden has a 200-patron capacity and is licensed to trade seven nights.

Named after one of Ireland’s most famous political figures, and known locally as The Dan, the building underwent a major renovation in 2017 when the operation was leased to Kieran Yewdall and Michael Shaugnessy – of Fitzroy’s Catfish, with Carl Johnson, who operated Thornbury’s Northern Git.

Fitroys selling agents David Bourke and Chris James expect publicans or investors to show an interest – the property popular with Irish pub enthusiasts, drinkers and musicians.

“Dan O’Connell Hotel has in recent times become known for its famed St Patrick’s Day parties with free flowing Guinness and weekends that spilled out onto the street and the adjacent park, while its regular live music, comedy, poetry and trivia nights with open fire places, pool and live sports on the big screen have earned the hotel a reputation as a genuine local,” Mr Bourke said .

“Pub and hospitality operators are expected to show huge interest in an incredibly rare opportunity to acquire outright one of Melbourne’s oldest pubs, which has a captive audience and is prime positioned in the cultural hub of the inner-north.

“Vacant, this will also offer a blank canvas for operators to potentially refurbish and reposition the freehold as Melbourne’s hospitality landscape opens up post COVID-19”.

But on a site of 520 sqm, developers are on the agents’ radar, too.

“Other value add buyers will be looking to alternative uses and take advantage of the zoning and corner position,” Mr Bourke said.

Mr James added “the gentrification of the inner-north has seen an influx of young families that would likely draw the attention of childcare centre operators, while the property’s position near the University of Melbourne and the northern precinct of the CBD made the site an ideal candidate for a boutique student accommodation development”.

“The popular Canning Street bike route from the CBD to the north provides a constant flow of traffic past the door,” he said.

“Focus will again shift on demand for student accommodation premises in the future as international borders reopen and well located sites are consistently in demand”.

Scape Australia’s recent $2 billion acquisition of Urbanest shows there is still strong confidence in the sector’s prospects,” Mr James said.

Earlier this month South Melbourne’s Wayside Inn was also listed for sale.

Built in 1915, replacing a venue also constructed in the 1880s, that property, 446 City Road, is expected to trade for more than $3.8m.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of