KKR’s Australian Venue Co signs 10-year lease for Brunswick’s Sarah Sands Hotel

Australian Venue Co has signed a 10-year lease to occupy the prominent Brunswick watering hole last occupied by Irish pub Bridie O’Reilly’s.

Joseph Chahin’s Peregrine Project acquired Sarah Sands Hotel at 29 Sydney Road four years ago.

Since last October, Peregrine has been marketing apartment within a building set to be developed seven storeys into the site’s airspace (artist’s impression, top).

Given a kink in Royal Parade as it connects North Carlton and Brunswick, the south-facing apartments of the proposed complex will have unobstructed views to the CBD.

Royal Park is also in the area, as is Industry Superannuation Trust’s Barkly Square.

The hotel opened in 1854 and its façade is heritage protected.

An image of 29 Sydney Road Brunswick from the 2015 marketing campaign when it was occupied as the Bridie O’Reilly pub.

Named after the SS Sarah Sands steam ship which bought the original licensee, Robert Barry, into the country, the property accommodated an adult club in the 1980s before being occupied by Bridie O’Reilly’s from the mid-1990s.

AVC plans to “restore and re-imagine Sarah Sands to her full glory” with a contemporary fit out and focus on food.

“The menu will be updated seasonally to provide a true culinary experience year-round, with a focus on quality ingredients and homemade dishes,” the occupier said in a statement.

Split across two levels, Sarah Sands will offer both restaurant and bar areas.

AVC chief executive officer Paul Waterson said the venue was “an exciting addition” to its portfolio.

“The addition of Sarah Sands allows us to grow our pub footprint in the northern suburbs of

Melbourne, whilst filling a gap in the Brunswick market as a pub for all,” he added.

“Sarah Sands was infamous for her hospitality of previous generations and we hope to carry this

forward and re-imagine the Sarah Sands experience as a new local favourite for north-siders”.

Sarah Sands will be managed by AVC alongside other Melbourne venues, The Provincial Hotel in ,Fitzroy and Imperial Bourke Street in Melbourne CBD.

AVC, which is financially backed by private equity firm KKR, operates over 150 high profile hospitality venues, across New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.

AVC plans to occupy the retail space when Peregrine’s redevelopment is complete in 2021.

Mr Chahin’s Peregrine Projects paid just over $6 million for the hotel.

Another artist’s impression of the completed Sarah Sands apartment complex behind the restored Sarah Sands Hotel facade.

An initial proposal for the site could have seen it replaced with an eight storey structure.

The final design will contain 38 car parks and 55 bike spaces.

In June we reported that cinema owner Eddie Tamir sold a Brunswick development site at 1-5 Weston Street for $6.15 million – a sharp drop on the $7.975 million he paid 11 months earlier.

Last September we reported that Franco Cozzo planned to replace his high-profile showroom on the north east corner of Sydney Road and Victoria Street with an apartment complex containing 31 dwellings.

The historic façade of Mr Cozzo’s shop would be incorporated into the design, penned by Fender Katsalidis (artist’s impression, below).

The Fender Katsilidis designed complex proposed to replace Brunswick’s Franco Cozzo store.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.