Pub entrant pays $20m for historic Newcastle venue

The Newcastle pub was refurbished in 2014.

Partners Group Australia, a pub sector entrant led by Sydney based private equity banker Martin Scott, is paying c$20 million for Newcastle’s Lucky Hotel.

Reklaw Hotels, another hospitality entrant, recently paid c$16 million for the Duke of Wellington, north of Newcastle.

Also known as the Lucky Country Hotel, the c1880 asset was offloaded by sisters Hayley Van de Stadt and Blake Nash (nee McCloy) after five years.

Developed on the site of the Bank Hotel, the venue was known as the Oxford Hotel until 1977, when it was sold by Tooth & Company.

It underwent a major refurbishment in 2014 – reopening to over 2000 patrons on day one.

“We have loved our time at the Lucky, and to contribute to the wonderful Newcastle hospitality scene has been an honour, however the time is right for us to focus on our families and let the incoming operator take the hotel to its next chapter,” Ms Van de Stadt said.

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With a public bar, beer garden, gaming room with 17 electronic gambling machines and 30 guest rooms, the Lucky Hotel occupies an 820 square metre site at 237 Hunter Street, on the south east corner of Crown.

JLL Hotels & Hospitality’s Kate MacDonald and John Musca brokered the off market sale; they said interest came from Sydney and Melbourne investors (story continues below).

“Hayley and Blake have built an iconic Newcastle business, but both with babies on the way, it was the right time to exit and our purchaser will greatly benefit from their foundations,’” Ms MacDonald added.

The deal comes two months since another new hospitality player, Reklaw Hotels, outlaid $16m for the Duke of Wellington, north of Newcastle.

In August, Mike Angus sold Newcastle East’s Grand Hotel after 33 years of operation.

Developed in 1891, it traded to a local syndicate for a speculated $6m.

Mr Scott has been the Australian head of Swiss Exchange listed Partners Partners since 2008.

For six years prior the banker led Zurich Financial’s local sales department.

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Marc Pallisco

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