Paul Olynyk sells leasehold of Richmond hotel Royal Saxon

The Royal Saxon is configured with an upstairs bar.

A South Australian hospitality group seeking to establish in Melbourne has acquired one of the inner-city’s most popular hotels from high-profile pub operator Paul Olynyk.

The leasehold of Richmond’s luxuriously appointed Royal Saxon at 545 Church Street traded off-market for an undisclosed sum.

“Whilst it wasn’t my intention to sell, it was certainly a process made easier due to the passion shared by the purchasers towards the Royal Saxon,” Mr Olynyk said.

“It’s always comforting to know that a venue you worked so hard towards establishing will be kept in good hands”.

The hotel, which serves Italian food, is configured with a restaurant, courtyard, upstairs bar and balcony.

CBRE Hotel’s director, Scott Callow, and manager, Will Connolly, describe their deal as one the year’s most significant for the food and beverage sector.

“With venues of this calibre being incredibly hard to come by and in an area of Melbourne extremely sought after, the Royal Saxon was heavily pursued,” Mr Callow said.

“The Royal Saxon has resisted numerous approaches by purchasers over time, but the recent approach from an alternative, interstate hotel group saw a synergy between buyer and seller”.

The Royal Saxon courtyard.

The buyer holds an “already impressive portfolio of venues in their home-state”, and will be looking to expand in Melbourne next year, Mr Callow said.

Mr Connolly added “it truly was a privilege for the CBRE Hotels team to be able to help guide the sale of one of Melbourne’s most well-known venues. More importantly, it’s a sign that the leasehold pub market is still as strong as ever with this sale no doubt acting as a catalyst for more transactions at this level to occur going into 2019”.

Mr Olynyk and another hospitality entrepreneur Julian Gerner renovated the interior of the Royal Saxon about seven years ago.

Earlier this week we reported that the freehold for DT’s Hotel at 164 Church Street, Richmond, sold for $2.25 million to an investor with other hospitality interests. DT’s Hotel was offered with a long-lease to operator Paul Anthony.

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Marc Pallisco

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