Movie producer buys Neutral Bay’s The Oaks

David Thomas purchased The Oaks leasehold in 1975 and the freehold 15 years later.

Two time Academy Award nominated producer Doug Mitchell in a syndicate also understood to include chef Rick Stein, is speculated to be paying just over $125 million for prominent Neutral Bay pub The Oaks.

The Neutral Bay hotel’s beer garden is developed around an oak tree.

On 2188 square metres at 118 Military Road, on the north west corner of Ben Boyd, the double storey hotel was offloaded by Andrew Thomas, whose father, David, held the leasehold since 1975, and, 15 years later, snapped up the freehold for $12m.

The vendor also undertook a major renovation in 2019.

The freehold going concern hit the market last August with a guide of c$175m, which would have broken the Australian pub record price set 10 months ago when Nelson Meers paid $160m for Casula’s Crossroads Hotel.

The Thomas family retains The Winston hotel in Winston Hills, 28 kilometres west of Sydney, and The Entrance, between Gosford and Newcastle.

The Oaks

Built by Tooth & Co in 1938 replacing a pub constructed in 1885, The Oaks includes a bar, function spaces, beer garden built around an oak tree and gaming room with 30 electronic gambling machines (story continues below).

The Military Road asset contains a bottle shop and several function rooms.
The Thomas family renovated The Oaks in 2019.

There is also a bottle shop.

The site was marketed for its potential to accommodate a five storey structure; JLL’s John Musca and Ben McDonald were the agents.

Septuagenarian Mr Mitchell, who lives in nearby Mosman, received Academy Award nominations for Babe, in 1995, and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

His other film credits include Dead Calm (1989), Happy Feet (2006), its sequel (2011), Lorenzo’s Oil (1992) and The Year my Voice Broke (1987).

The producer also worked on local miniseries’ Bangkok Hilton, in 1989, Bodyline (1984) and Vietnam (1987).

Subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this page.

Share or Recommend article

Marc Pallisco

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