Cornell, Gyngell sell iconic Brunswick Heads pub

The Brunswick Heads hotel includes a large beer garden.

Delvene Cornell, the widow of actor and businessman, John ‘Strop’, and former Channel Nine boss David Gyngell, have sold the Hotel Brunswick, north of Byron Bay, for $68 million.

MA Financial, led by Dan Brady, is the buyer.

Paul Hogan and John ‘Strop’ Cornell at the pub, from a 2020 ad for Hotel Brunswick Classic Brew.

Developed in the 1940s overlooking Simpsons Creek and the Brunswick River, the asset will be held by investment fund MA Hotel Management, formerly known as Moelis Australia.

HTL Property’s Andrew Jolliffe brokered the off-market deal.

Major windfall

The sale reflects a major windfall for the vendors – Mr Cornell picked up the asset for $2.1m in 1990, while Mr Gyngell paid $5.3m in 2013 for a 50 per cent stake.

In recent years the partners have snapped up surrounding investments (not included in the latest sale) such as a $3m block of flats behind the pub – which was mooted at the time could make way for associated accommodation.

Last November the pair acquired a Centrelink office in the vicinity for $3.4m.

Mr Cornell once owned Byron Bay’s landmark Beach Hotel, which coincidentally has been owned by MAHM since 2019 (story continues below).

“We have enjoyed an amazing journey with so many great people at the iconic Hotel Brunswick,” Mr Gyngell said, on behalf of himself and Ms Cornell.

“It’s landed in the best possible hands of Dan Brady and his team,” according to the executive.

“We will be cheering their continued success”.

Mr Brady added “Hotel Brunswick has always enjoyed the benefit of the enormous footfall of tourist visitation and dollar spend to the region and as a freehold going concern asset, the hotel will benefit from our platform of expertise”.

The venue includes several bistros and bar areas and an enormous beer garden able to accommodate live entertainment.

“The Hotel Brunswick embodies everything good about the hospitality industry, and the nation’s fascination with beach culture and community,” Mr Jolliffe said.

“David and Delvene have been wonderful custodians, and the local knowledge the purchasers bring given their ownership of the Beach Hotel underwrites the future success of this situation,” he added.

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Marc Pallisco

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