Ged Dore buys South Coast pub to renovate

Ged Dore paid $10.75 million for Enmore’s Sly Fox leashold last year.

A consortium including Ged Dore is paying $6 million for Berry’s Great Southern Hotel.

Vendor, the Coombs family, spent $2.7m nine years ago.

The marketing agents – then and now – said their client rebuilt the business into “something the local community can be proud of”.

Prior to listing, they also obtained a permit to increase the size of the beer garden and kitchen, and add hotel rooms and a children’s playground.

The venue is licensed with nine electronic gambling machines.

It occupies an 1804 square metre site, about 50 kilometres south of Wollongong.

The deal came in the week Laundy Hotels and Fraser Short paid $40m for Lennox Head’s Lennox Hotel, south of Byron Bay.

In January ALH acquired Eden’s Great Southern Inn for a speculated price of just over $5m.

In late 2019, at Goondiwindi, 350 kilometres south west of Brisbane, the same vendor acquired the Victoria Hotel from the long-time operators the Klein family.

Four months ago Harvest Hotels spent $9.6m on the Brady Railway Hotel at the NSW/Vic border town of Albury.

Next chapter for Berry hotel

HTL Property’s Sam Handy and Dan Dragicevich sold the Berry freehold.

“The successful buyer…[has] plans to immediately execute a strategic renovation and refurbishment of the hotel whilst repositioning the existing food and Beveridge offering,” they said (story continues below).

The consortium will create a food and Beveridge offering complementing not competing with local providores including “the hugely” popular Sourdough Bakery, Emporium Food Co and South on Albany, according to the agents.

Mr Dore added he was “thrilled” to be part of the local community and existing staff would be retained.

He said Berry is one of his favourite towns and he has visited for decades.

“I always believe pubs are there to service and represent the community that they are in, so I’m very much looking forward to building upon what the outgoing owners have been able to achieve here,” the restaurateur said.

Mr Dore’s other assets include, in Sydney’s inner west, the Salisbury Hotel and Henson Park Hotel.

Eight months ago, the businessman paid $10.75m for Enmore’s Sly Fox Hotel.

End of a short but markedly improved era: agent

Great Southern Hotel vendor Roger Coombs said it was with a heavy heart the family sold but they do so “in the knowledge that we’re leaving the business in a significantly better position that we arrived”.

Mr Handy sold them the venue last time.

“The town’s amenity has markedly improved with the implementation of the Berry bypass and the locals and tourists alike should be really encouraged by the prospect of someone of Ged’s calibre coming in to further build upon the business,” he said.

Other South Coast pub sales the agency said it brokered since 2019 include the North Nowra Tavern (for $12m), Shell Cove Tavern ($6.5m), Central Hotel ($2om) Figtree Hotel (15) and Unanderra Hotel ($13.5m).

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Marc Pallisco

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