BRISBANE’S “WORST VEGETARIAN PUB” SOLD TO BREWING FAMILY

In Property by Clyde Mooney

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Independent Pub Group has passed the reigns of another Brisbane pub, this time to the nephew of the 80s little battler Bernie Power of Power Brewing.

Hotel frontage_crp_adj_LR_A4wJames Power has reportedly picked up the historic Norman Hotel for just under $7 million as the South Australia-based Independent Pub Group (IPG) nears completion of its strategic exit from Queensland.

The younger Power is known for his successful ‘Personalised Plates Queensland’ business, marketing custom number plates to the State’s motorists. He has previously operated pubs and wields plenty of capital after the $35 million sale of the family’s Central Brunswick retail property in Fortitude Valley in late 2014.

The 1889 Woolloongabba hotel has enjoyed icon status in the area for decades, with year-round patronage courtesy of its location close to “The Gabba” cricket ground, and corporate business properties.

JLL Hotels Senior Vice President – Investment Sales Paul Fraser managed the sale, citing its decades-long popularity in the area and $7 million in annual turnover.

“Looking back over the years, it is just such a strong performer, year in year out,” Fraser told PubTIC. “And it’s also got an amazing reputation as serving Brisbane’s best steak!”

The pub celebrated its 125th anniversary last year, with reports that “Brisbane’s worst vegetarian restaurant” served up two head of cattle each week – around 200,000 steaks annually.

IPG has gradually divested its Queensland portfolio over the past two years, selling four freehold going concerns and to date three leaseholds, all executed through JLL. Fraser reports the last of the collection will settle in a matter of weeks.

The 42-year lease of the Norman Hotel represents a return to the industry for Power, who was quoted in the Courier Mail as having “[gotten] out of hotels in the late 80s” but saw this as “a very sound investment”.

National Director Hotels John Musca said IPG has upheld the hotel’s icon status and its Queensland divestments through JLL have proven very successful.

“In a market that has had limited transaction activity, over the past two years we are delighted to have partnered with important clients IPG in managing the exit of their quality hotel assets to a range of both local and interstate operating groups.

“Under IPG’s stewardship the Norman has become a true Brisbane icon hotel and the experienced purchasers, with their hotelier and brewing heritage, are well placed to take the venue to a new level moving forward.”