New outfit snaps up Newcastle pub

Mike Angus recently sold Newcastle East’s Grand Hotel after 33 years.

Reklaw Hotels, in its maiden deal, has paid $16 million for the Duke of Wellington, near Newcastle.

The price reflects a windfall for Stephen Hunt’s Hunt Hospitality, who outlaid $8.375m for the freehold in 2016.

“Selling the Duke wasn’t an easy decision as it is such a strong community based asset with a great mix of trade,” the executive said.

“This is the third time in the last six years our fund has divested an asset for well over 50 per cent more than the original purchase price,” he added.

In July, the publican paid the Nixon family $15m for the Harrington Hotel, 200 kilometres north east of Newcastle.

The Duke of Wellington

JLL Hotels & Hospitality’s Ben McDonald marketed the Duke of Wellington, on 885 square metres at 69 Regent Street, at the north east corner of Portland Place.

Over two storeys the venue includes a sports bar with TAB, internal beer garden and seven guest suites.

There are also 24 electronic gambling machines (story continues below).

Reklaw is led by Sydney based Nick Walker, the nephew of Lesday Hotels’ Kent Walker.

“The Duke is the first [acquisition] for the group and a cornerstone asset on which to build a portfolio of assets,” Nick said.

The deal comes two months since the historic Grand Hotel at Newcastle East traded for $6.1m.

A fortnight ago, unlisted fund manager Harvest Hotels outlaid $32m for the Woy Woy Hotel, south of Gosford.

“The sale of The Duke is another example of increasing buyer depth in the marketplace as this is the first acquisition for the purchaser,” Mr McDonald added.

“Assets underpinned by strong trading fundamentals in key geographical markets continue to attract the interest and capital of a wide-ranging buyer pool and we anticipate such interest continuing to intensify as hotel opportunities are aggressively pursued”.

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Marc Pallisco

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